Pottery torso of a female

From Jalisco, West Mexico
300 BC - AD 300

This Ameca-style figurine represents the torso of a woman wearing a headdress, earplugs and a necklace. Her breasts are covered with a pattern outlined in black pigment, which represents a tattoo or body paint. A band of red slip at the bottom of the figure is part of a skirt, common to this type of figurine. The decoration on the shoulders is also common in Ameca-style sculptures.

The majority of figurines known from Jalisco belong to the Ameca style. Both males and females are depicted, usually sitting, with elongated faces and wearing the simple ornaments and clothing seen on this female torso. Standing males warriors are also common. In comparison to the ceramics of Colima and Nayarit, the subject matter in this region is quite limited.

Large, hollow figures from Western Mexico have been discovered in shaft tombs, which are not found elsewhere in Mexico, but in Panama and the Andes, particularly in Ecuador and Colombia. Whether this funerary pattern was introduced to Western Mexico from this area or vice versa is still a matter of debate. The presence of species common to both Ecuador and West Mexico, stylistic similarities in ceramic shapes and decoration, and other shared elements seem to indicate maritime contact between these two areas.

Find in the collection online

More information


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)


Height: 41.000 cm
Width: 30.000 cm

Museum number

AOA Hn 121


Heaven Collection
Purchased with the Christy Fund


Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore