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Vase

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Vase

ca. 800 CE
6 x 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (15.2 x 16.5 x 16.5 cm)

Unknown, Maya
Guatemalan

Object Type: Ceramics
Medium and Support: Clay, pigment
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1972.9
Location: Currently on view
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This vase from Chama, Guatemala has the characteristic black and white chevron bands found along the tops and bottoms of vases from this area. The painted figure sits cross-legged on the floor and gestures outward with his right hand. From this profile view, it is easy to see the graceful slope of his head resulting from cranial modification, the shaping of the human skull during infancy (while still soft and growing). The Maya based their standard of beauty on the figure of their Corn God. They believed a long, tapered head was most beautiful as it mimicked the shape of an ear of corn.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

Provenance
Enrique Vargas-Alfaro, Decatur, Georgia (dealer); purchased from him by the Gallery in 1972

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