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Graceful rendering of a high-status seated person, most likely a woman. The meaning of her cross-armed stance is unknown, but given the elaborate headdress she wears, she may have been depicted taking part in a ritual or other solemn activity. Some scholars have maintained that it is a representation of the goddess known by the calendrical name Thirteen Snake.

Seated figurine
Middle Classic (400-600 A.D.)
Monte Albán, State of Oaxaca
Clay, shell and red and white pigments
21.5 x 12.4 cm.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.

Photo © Jorge Pérez de Lara