Gods and Rulers
pre-eminent sculptors of Mesoamerica. Their ability to gracefully use sculpture-in-the-round to show people in realistic postures is unsurpassed. The two figures above are Maya gods of Creation. Here they sit, relaxed in natural postures, obviously very deep in discussion. The god on the right sits cross-legged, leaning toward his interlocutor to make his point. The casual way he supports his left arm on his knee, and the detail of the curled fingers of his right hand are remarkable. The figure on the left also leans forward, but clearly in a listening posture, as he idly fingers the contents of the bowl between them. Surrounding the figures are hieroglyphs that explain the scene. In the anthropological museum of Guatemala City I saw a throne showing two nobles in very similar postures. It may be that the same sculptor carved both pieces.
Men in daily life
mixture of maiz (corn) and cacao, a form of beer popular at ancient Mesoamerican festivals.
Olmec heads of Mexico's Gulf Coast. The sculptor managed to communicate a tremendous amount of energy through this small piece.
Colima dogs are portrayed by ancient sculptors. Until I moved to Mexico, I was a dog owner for many years. I still enjoy other people's dogs, and those I befriend while walking the streets of the village where I live. This ancient dog lies in exactly the posture I have seen live dogs assume, with legs and tail curled under him. He has obviously just heard something and has perked up his ears and slightly raised his head. Perhaps his master is approaching, or he has detected the telltale noises of food preparation in the kitchen.
Zoomorphs: human/animal mixtures
Quetzalcoatl, the famous Plumed Serpent, is a mixture of a snake and the quetzal bird. While zoomorphs generally have serious religious connotations, I can't help feeling that this sculptor had a sense of humor about his work. Note to the Disney Corporation: check your copyright, this guy definitely got in ahead of you.