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Updated: 14 April 2015
Female figure made of sandstone depicting Tlazolteotl, standing (truncated), hands folded in front, with fan-shaped (plumed ?) head-dress having centre-piece in form of cone on top of section of cylinder; left-hand proper edge of head-dress lost. Figure emerging from oblong base.
- Excavated/Findspot: Mexico
- (Americas,North America,Mexico)
- Height: 150 centimetres (overall)
- Width: 57 centimetres (figure)
- Depth: 14 centimetres (figure)
- Height: 22 centimetres (base)
- Width: 50 centimetres (base)
- Depth: 30 centimetres (base)
Sculptures from Mexico's northern Gulf Coast depict Tlazolteotl, a goddess associated with spinning, weaving, childbirth and curing. As the "eater of filth" she was responsible for absorbing and absolving the guilt of sinful deeds. Her spectacular fan-shaped headdress would originally have been made from beaten bark cloth and brightly painted. A single large but rather thin slab of sandstone was used to sculpt this figure, imposing constraints on its depth and volume.
1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Japan, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.214
1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Japan, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.214
1991 9 Mar-7 May, Japan, Osaka, National Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.214
2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
Part of head-dress missing (left side proper); also evidence of repair.
Purchased through Christy Fund in 1879 from W.G.Jolly of Manchester.
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
- Am1989,Q.3 (also registered as [deleted])
Female figure made of sandstone, standing (truncated), hands folded in front, with fan-shaped (plumed ?) head-dress having centre-piece in form of cone on top of section of cylinder; left-hand proper edge of head-dress lost. Figure emerging from oblong base.
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Object reference number: ESA33577
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