Ancient Mayan ball player.
Dimensions - Height - 12 cm / 4-3/4 inches
Width - 6.3 cm / 2-1/2 inches
Depth - 5.6 cm / 2-1/4 inches
* Included with the statue is an atmospheric replica collector card of early 20th century design
This is a great replica of an ancient pre-Columbian statue featuring the unmistakable form of a ball player. The origins of all football and basketball games can be traced to the surviving ball court stadiums and statues giving form to the actual players.
On offer here is a replica statue of one of these artifacts and it is made of a limestone and quartzite composition stone. It has been given a well developed aged slate black patina and is mounted on an attractive, polished felt lined stand.
Background information - The entire rules are not entirely clear about this ancient ball game, but some records show the players didn't use their feet as much in a kicking sense as modern games . Variations and spectacular one off athletic achievements would no doubt have helped to evolve the game to a widely popular sport with kicking a likely outcome on some occasions.
The Spanish at time of conquest, witnessed a game being played and noted that the ball was thrown into the arena from on high and it was often a heavy ball between 3 and sometimes 8 kilograms in weight. It was made of latex extracted from the rubber tree spun into threads and rolled into a ball capable of great bounce.
Several stone hoops positioned in a vertical fashion protruded at intervals from the inner walls of the courts below the front row seats. The aim was to pass the ball through the hoops to obtain a score.
Ball courts were set up in major city centers such as Tikal, Copan and Chitchen itza and were the focal point of great celebration during the event. Rows of seats rising up to seat hundreds of spectators. The small court at Tikal is shown in the background of one of the photos in the listing but some courts are much larger.
The ball game had religious significance as well with the passage to the underworld interwoven into the earliest mythology from Olmec times.
This statue represents a player that must have been quite an accomplished athlete, worthy of having such a figure made in his honor. A hint at a feathered headdress and a yoke worn over the crotch were the only clothing worn with a broad necklace and large decorative ear plugs also evident. He clutches the very ball sought after by this team sport. Minimal detail is present on the back of the figure, limited to the back of the headdress.
*As each item is handmade, slight colour variations may occur.
3-5 business days
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