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Nayarit Figures

Nayarit figure, ceramic, 40.3 x 19.5 cm, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

Nayarit figure, ceramic, 40.3 x 19.5 cm, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

© Museo Nacional de Antropología
Nayarit figure, ceramic, 33.8 x 18.2 cm, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

Nayarit figure, ceramic, 33.8 x 18.2 cm, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

© Museo Nacional de Antropología
Nayarit figure, ceramic, 20.2 x 13 cm, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

Nayarit figure, ceramic, 20.2 x 13 cm, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico

© Museo Nacional de Antropología

Notice

Material
Ceramics | Clay | Paste
Type
Sculptures
Details
The “Shaft Tomb” culture, characterized by tombs containing the hollow clay figures known as “Nayarit figures”, “hollow figures” or “funeral figures”, developed throughout the state of Nayarit. Although most of the figures are the product of looting, archaeologists have determined that they pertain to the Late Formative and Early Classic periods, from 300 BC to 500 AD. In general, they represent human figures of different sizes. The biggest ones measure approximately 1.2 m whereas the smallest ones can measure 10 cm. They are made of paste in shades ranging from dark brown to red and cream. Common representations include warriors with weapons, men and women in standing or sitting position, figures holding vessels, pregnant women, women with children or couples. Their bodies are wide and their legs disproportionately big. Their faces are long with almond shaped eyes, a fine nose and a horizontal half-open mouth which in some cases shows teeth. All Nayarit figures are modeled and decorated using the appliqué technique. For the most part, they are known for their painted decoration in shades of red, white, yellow and sometimes black featuring facial and body paintings, hairdos and head-dresses or textile motifs. They wear multiple rings in their ear lobes.
Red List
Red List of Latin American Cultural Objects at Risk
Countries
Mexico
Period
Pre-Columbian