Human hunchback effigy figure

Maya
Late Preclassic to Early Classic Periods
200 B.C.–A.D. 300


Object Place: El Salvador or Guatemala, Pacific Coastal plain

Dimensions

14.8 x 8.6 cm (5 13/16 x 3 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

1988.1223

Medium or Technique

Earthenware: white on orange slip paint

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Earthenware

Seated elderly male hunchback figure with arms folded across chest. The effigy is hollow and open at the bottom. The hump on his back is enclosed and contains small spheres that produce a rattling sound. Atop the figure’s head is a panache of square-cut feathers or perhaps cropped hair.

Provenance

Between about 1974 and 1981, probably purchased in Guatemala by John B. Fulling (b. 1924 – d. 2005), The Art Collectors of November, Inc., Pompano Beach, FL; May 20, 1987, sold by John B. Fulling to Landon T. Clay, Boston; 1988, year-end gift of Landon Clay to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 25, 1989)

NOTE: This is one in a group of Maya artifacts (MFA accession nos. 1988.1169 – 1988.1299) known as the “November Collection” after John Fulling’s company, the Art Collectors of November, Inc. John Fulling sold this group of objects to MFA donor Landon Clay in 1987, and they were given to the Museum the following year.
Evidence suggests that John Fulling built the November Collection from sources in Guatemala between 1974 and 1981. Only a portion of what he acquired during this time came to the MFA in 1988. It is not possible to determine precisely which objects were acquired when or from whom.

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay