Jamacoaque Platform with Priest and Woman Holding a Small Figure(75 views)
Description: This scene had a figure which was knocked off the platform and lost in antiquity. The female substitute included here represents the same type as the original. The Jamacoaque seem to have taken over centers occupied by the preceding Chorrera culture in the northern Guayas region of coastal Ecuador. The pottery of Jamacoaque potters focuses on the costumes and accessories of ritual and prestige worn by high-ranking men and women. There is precedent for this female figure in the Chorrera sequence, in which a woman appears to be holding a child, but on closer inspection, the baby is really a small man. Here, the small male wears a complete adult costume, including turban headdress, large necklace, bracelets and ligatures on his legs. He's a supernatural miniature rather than a human baby. There was a tradition in the nineteenth century among the inhabitants of Guayas of a female statue with a small figurine in her lap, kept in a temple on an island just off the coast (Valdez, "Ameridian Signs: 5.000 Years of Precolumbian Art in Ecuador," 1992: 68). Local natives visited the shrine bringing gold and silver body parts which they offered in order to cure the diseased or maimed. Such curing rites may be the scenario of the platform group presented here. The male is elaborately dressed as a chief or shaman with heavy jewelry, long earrings designed as fish, an array of birds on top of his headgear, and behind him, is his semicircular staff.
Condition Report: As found without any conservation.
Dimensions: Height: 6 3/4"
Date: Ecuador, Jama Coac, 500 BC - AD 500