Haniwa Figure of a Shamaness
In the beginning of the fourth century, a group calling themselves the Yamato migrated into Japan and Korea. The Yamato built mound tombs for their important dead, the largest tombs being for the emperors. The tomb chambers were filled with luxury goods meant to serve the deceased in the spirit world. Most of the artifacts found in Japanese Yamato tombs are nearly identical to their Korean contemporaries, the tombs of the Kaya and Silla kingdoms.
Haniwa, however, are unique to Japan. They are large, hollow, earthenware cylinders that were mostly positioned to line the edge of the tomb mound, their upper portion protruding above ground to mark the tomb. They are either plain or shaped like weapons, buildings, animals, or human figures and appear to have served as protectors and marks of status for the individual buried within. This haniwa represents a Shinto priestess who would have presided over the funeral ceremony of a Yamato chieftain. The figure is fragmentary: the arms are missing and, like almost all extant haniwa, it has been reassembled from shards.
Earthenware with traces of pigment
18 x 8 3/4 x 7 1/2 in. (45.7 x 22.2 x 19.1 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Haniwa Figure of a Shamaness, 5th-6th century. Earthenware with traces of pigment, 18 x 8 3/4 x 7 1/2 in. (45.7 x 22.2 x 19.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus, 79.278.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 79.278.1_PS9.jpg)
overall, 79.278.1_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Three-quarter length standing figure of a priestess, who would have presided over the funeral ceremonies of a Yamato chieftain. She wears a coat-like robe closed diagonally across the chest and having a flaring lower edge. She has a string of beads around her neck and a flat, crescent-shaped headdress.
Material: Buff earthenware with traces of red iron-oxide pigment on the lower robe, neck, cheeks, eyebrows, and forehead.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.