Covered in a stylistic red-brown slip, a seated male shaman or chieftain figure, twisted to his left with legs splayed beneath him and arms extended defensively to hold a club, with small almond-shaped eyes and a beak-like nose, having pierced ears from which would have hung gold earrings, wearing a large turtle shell pendant and a single horn on the forehead attached by bands wrapped around the head.
Most Colima human figures are men with clubs and many are wearing forehead horns. The horn suggests they may be shamen figures communicating between the living and the dead, although they may also be the tips of conch shells worn to signify rulership. Many such figures were placed in tombs as guardians and those with aggressive postures, such as this one, have been interpreted as protectors against unwanted visitors.
Cf: Mary Ellen Miller, The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec, Fourth Edition London: Thames and Hudson (2006)
Dimensions: Height: 18 1/4 inches (46.4 cm), Width: 9 3/4 (24.7 cm)
Condition: With black mineral deposits across the surface, intact and in excellent condition overall. with no cracks or breaks.
Provenance: David Broder (1929-2011) and Ann Broder (1929-2016) private collection, Va and thereafter by descent. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post, David Broder was one of the most respected writers on national politics for four decades. Broder was often called the dean of the Washington press corps - a nickname he earned in his late 30s in part for the clarity of his political analysis and the influence he wielded as a perceptive thinker on political trends in his books, articles and television appearances.