Human effigy with tenoned head

Classic Period
A.D. 450–700

Object Place: Guatemala, Alta Verapaz or adjacent southern highlands (?)


23.2 x 12.8 x 12.6 cm (9 1/8 x 5 1/16 x 4 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: unslipped

Not On View





Human figural sculpture with removable head (1988.1222b), its long tenon fitting into an opening at the top of the torso. An indented, flattened oval in the forehead likely represents a mirror, implying supernatural status for this figure.


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