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Chinesco Female Figurine

Ceramic female figurine, c. 100 BCE-250 CE, Nayarit, 2017.3.1

This proud new addition to the McClung collection is a ceramic female figurine from the western Mexican state of Nayarit. Figurines like this were placed within Mesoamerican family shaft tombs which were usually located under house platforms. These family mausoleums were frequently reopened to bury the recently deceased. When reopened, family members would see these statues guarding the tomb and be reminded that they helped sustain the family line through guidance and fertility. These painted statues were more of a representation of the entire clan rather than specific members of the family and usually consisted of a male and female pair. This specific figurine is painted in the “chinesco” style which is known for its smooth burnished surface and bright red ornamentation.

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