Pre-Columbian Remojadas Sonrientes (smiling face)
Total dimensions including stand :-
Height - 21 cm / 8 - 1/4 inches
Width - 12.5 cm / 4 - 7/8 inches
Depth - 7 cm / 2-3/4 inches
This interesting sculpture is a replica of an actual artifact from the ancient Mexican Remojadas culture ( 100 B.C.E - 800 C.E)
Made of a limestone and quartzite composition stone it has an aged ochre patina with a a hint of flesh tone on the face.
Mounted on a removable, polished felt based stand it can be utilized as a wall feature if you so wish using a hook or angled nail.
The Remojadas culture was recognized as being part of the classic Veracruz period which endured right up until 1000 C.E. It was a cultural center specializing in unique sculpture and ceramics south east of the well known site of Teotihuacan.
The Sonrientes / smiling faces are the most well known of the arts created here and found in nearby areas. The typical features are a rather triangular face with sharply cut teeth and a stylized smile. The face was bordered by a bib like collar, large ear plugs and usually a headdress with a floral glyph like pattern as can be seen in this example.
The faces can be found on all manner of figures and mask creations. The actual purpose is debated by scholars and the key theories presented are as follows :-
They were possibly performers, immortalized in sculpture.
They are smiling to show the effects of ingesting halucinogenic substances in a ritualistic context.
Or they were part of a cult of the dead radiating happiness rather than sadness.
Either way they are fascinating objects with interesting variations in style unified by a most powerful smile.
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