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A good example of Olmec small format sculpture, typically executed on very hard stones and with a highly polished finish. The element this figure holds in its left hand (often called a torch but the identity of which has not been secured) is part of a recurring imagery that is not quite well understood, but that may relate to renewal and fertiliy.

Figurine holding an object, possibly a torch or a bundle of vegetation elements
Middle Pre-Classic (1000-600 B.C.)
Paso de Ovejas, State of Veracruz
15 x 6.5 cm.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.

Photo © Jorge Pérez de Lara