This MUSEUM-CLASS ceramic figure of a noble female hails from the Pre-Columbian Chorrera Culture of Northwest South America. We have handled an extraordinary number of specimens over the last 27 years but some forever remain in our memory because they elicit a powerful presence and THIS PIECE IS ONE OF THOSE PIECES! From its alien resemblance to the highly detailed tattoo work on the upper torso, there is a personality of this specimen that is simply lacking in most Pre-Columbian ceramics.
The figure represents a young female with an unusual head shape similar to the elongated skulls found in Pre-Columbian sites in South America. It is likely this figure represents a teen girl whose skull was bound when young to form an elongated cranium as has been documented in ancient rituals of the region. It is no wonder that many believe there was extra-terrestrial contact in Pre-Columbian tribes when you see figures like this and are made aware of the unusual practices of skull deformation they performed. This figure embodies that mystery! Were they trying to imitate or venerate an other-worldly species they knew of? Where did they get such a bizarre practice and why would they endure such pain and discomfort to perform these practices?
She is mold made and is hollow. She is shown with a prominent nose plug and wears a thin linen sleeveless smock to reveal her extensive body art. Her expression-less gaze is nothing short of haunting. No fabrication but minimal repairs from few pieces. Complete and with numerous mineral deposits and earthen patina to demonstrate irrefutable authenticity. Collected by a U.S. employee working in Central and South America and brought into the U.S. from the 1950's to the early 1960's. A RARE museum-class figure and of the finest form we have seen in this culture!
The Chorrera culture is a Late Formative indigenous culture that flourished between 1300 BCE and 300 BCE. It spanned the Pacific lowlands to the Andean highlands of Ecuador and southern Colombia. The Chorrera culture was one of the most widespread cultures in pre-Columbian Ecuador.
Pre-Columbian Ecuador was home to a large number of indigenous peoples with continual occupation spanning thousands of years before the invasion and rule of the Incan Empire. One of the oldest cultures in the Americas is in Ecuador - the Las Vegas culture of coastal Ecuador. On the Pacific coast thrived the Valdivian culture, a unique and well-known culture in Pre-Columbian archaeology. Ancient Valdivian artifacts from as early as 3500 B.C. have been found along the coast north of the Guayas Province in the modern city of Santa Elena. Other pre-Spanish contact sites include archaeological discoveries in the coastal provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas and in the middle Andean highland provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo. These discoveries have established that Ecuador was inhabited for at least 4,500 years before the rise of the Inca.
Great tracts of Ecuador, including almost all of the Oriente (Amazon rainforest), remain unknown to archaeologists, a fact that adds credence to the possibility of earlier human habitation than already known. Scholars have studied the Amazon region recently but the forest is so remote and dense that it takes years for research teams to survey even a small area. Their belief that the river basin had complex cultures is confirmed by the recent discovery of the Mayo-Chinchipe Cultural Complex in the Zamora-Chinchipe Province. During the pre-Inca period, people lived in clans, which formed great tribes, and some allied with each other to form powerful confederations.