The wall info says this is a man and woman--- how do we know?
Hello! Scholars determine gender in Jalisco ceramics based on adornments and interactions.
They are both so similarly attired!
In this particular case they are pretty close, I agree!
Ceramics from Jalisco during this time period are pretty stylized, too. It's hard sometimes to tell how closely they resemble what the people at the time actually looked like or wore! A great deal of the information we have about early West Mexican culture comes from burials.
They're lovely!! I like their faces and the similarity.
They really are amazing! The pottery wheel didn't exist in Meso or South America during these time periods, which makes them even more amazing works of art to me.
Interestingly enough, we aren't the only people who like these works! The artist Diego Rivera was a major collector of West Mexican ceramics.
I think it suggests a gender parity which is v cool--- ah that makes sense, Diego Rivera's work has a similar style.
Absolutely! He added these figures into his work intentionally as they represent the history of Mexico.
How can you tell this is a marriage ceremony? Was drinking significant in their culture?
This is just one interpretation about the significance of what the couple may be doing and where. We cannot be 100% certain.
Because many of these objects are found in burials we deduce that they are of some ritual or symbolic significance. The 'Bond between human figures" was a major motif in West Mexican ceramic sculpture.
What are the two dots on the man's leg?
Many scholars think this may be scarification. You can see similar dots on the shoulders of these figures and others from Jalisco, Mexico.
Yes! It is also incredible to think about how these figures would have been fired in open pits. There were no kilns in Mesoamerica!
When did they start to use kilns?
In the Americas, the technology was introduced by Europeans.
What are they making?
It is believed that this pairing depicts a couple, possibly at a marriage ceremony. The woman is offering her companion some kind of drink, notice the straw he brings to his mouth.
Tell me more.
The bond between human figures was a major motif in West Mexican ceramic sculpture. You can see that here in the depiction of this couple, which may be a husband and wife at a marriage ceremony. The long faces, staring eyes, and relatively less-detailed limbs are typical of Jalisco-style ceramic figures.
Did you notice the dots on the shoulders of both figures? That may represent decorative scarification.
Wow, that's interesting.
It certainly is! Many similar objects being excavated today, for which we have provenance information, originate from shaft burials. These burials would be added to through time by generations of a family.
What does BCE mean and how is this sculpture dated?
BCE stands for "Before the Common Era" meaning, in this case, 100 years before the year 0. So, about 2,117 years before present (100 + 2017).
Tell me more.
The bond between human figures was a major motif in West Mexican ceramic sculpture. This pairing may depict a couple, possibly at a marriage ceremony.
The long faces, staring eyes, and detailed limbs are typical of Jalisco-style ceramic figurines. The applique dots on the shoulders may represent decorative scarification.
The elongated heads may actually be based on skull-shaping practiced by the people in Jalisco at the time, a marker of cultural identity and beauty.
Any idea of why their heads are long and narrow? Do the exaggerated nose, ears and mouth signify anything?
The elongated heads are consistent with known examples of cranial deformation (the flattening of an infant's cranium) which may have been a sign of prestige. The rest of the facial features (wide eyes, long nose, and open mouth) were typical of Jalisco-style ceramic figurines of this period.
The applique dots on the shoulders may also represent decorative scarification.