Pocket guide to Aztec and Mayan gods, £6.99
Height: 27.000 cm
Width: 14.500 cm
Gift of L.J.E. Hooper
Room 27: Mexico
Pottery figure of a warrior
From Jalisco, West
300 BC - AD 300
This sculpture represents a sitting warrior with protective body armour and helmet. Warriors are a common theme in the ceramics of Jalisco. They are shown standing, with knees slightly bent, or sitting. In seated figures, like this example, the legs are shortened and the feet have not been moulded.
The weaponry consists of a short club or spear and, sometimes, a shield. The helmet is wide and ends in a crest. The armour, which would probably have been made of a stiff material, perhaps basketry, is shown covering the torso up to the shoulders. The posture of the figure suggests that it could be a tomb guardian.
The majority of figures known from Jalisco belong to the Ameca style. Both males and females are depicted, usually sitting, with elongated faces and wearing simple ornaments and clothing. In comparison to the ceramics of Colima and Nayarit, the subject matter of those from Jalisco is quite limited.
R.F. Townsend, Ancient West Mexico, art and a (Chicago, Thames and Hudson, 1998)
M. Kan, C.W. Meighan and H.B. Nicholson, Sculpture of Ancient Mexico: N (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989)
J. Gallagher, Companions of the dead: cerami (Los Angeles, Museum of Cultural History, UCLA, 1983)
C. McEwan, Ancient Mexico in the British (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)