- Museum number
Standing figure, made of wood.
- Production date
- 1224-1282 (Calibrated radiocarbon dates)
Diameter: 7.50 centimetres
Height: 39.50 centimetres
Width: 21 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Number "M.700" [?] painted on. Compare other "M" numbers. related to 1840,9-30 collection ?.
McEwan 2009, p.28
Male Spirit Being. Wood. Taino, Jamaica, 15th-16th century AD
This standing figure once had shell inlay in the eyes and mouth and the facial features are rendered with remarkable sensitivity. It is carved in an aggressive sexual pose with splayed legs and enlarged calves (...). Similar kinds of male sculptures might have been made to reflect aspects of male kinship and lineage relations. The exaggerated size of the male organs seems intended to call upon the virile, generative powers of the ancestors whose sexual potency underpinned the very existence of the community and was needed to assure its future well-being and vitality. They were evidently protagonists in the "cohoba" ceremony. This figure grasps a cylindrical object in either hand that may be "maracas" (rattles) which accompanied the rhythmic chants and exhortations common to shamanic rites.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2008, Apr-Sept, Barcelona, Museo Barbier-Mueller D'Art Precolombi, 'Caribbean Before Columbus'
2008 Sept -2009 Jan, Santiago de Compostela, Fundacion Caixa Galiciade, 'Caribbean Before Columbus'
2009, Jan-Apr, Madrid, Museo de America, 'Caribbean Before Columbus'
- Acquisition notes
- Found in Americas collections in 1997 apparently unnumbered and unregistered. Date and means of acquisition not known. Possibly related to Am1840,9-30 collection. Acquisition details unknown.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: M.700 (painted on)