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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Galo Polychrome Seated Female Figure
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Galo Polychrome Seated Female Figure - PF.3218
Origin: Costa Rica (Guanacaste)
Circa: 500 AD to 800 AD
Dimensions: 11.5" (29.2cm) high
Catalogue: V15
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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"Looking back so many thousands of years, it seems as if humanity's first image of life was the mother. This must go back to a time when human beings experienced themselves as the children of nature, in relationship with all things, part of the whole." (Baring and Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess) Baring and Cashford are referring to the oldest sculpture of a Goddess, from about 22,000 B.C. from Brassempouy in the Landes area of France. They also state, "It is not surprising that these images of the Goddess appear throughout history, for they all express a similar vision of life on earth, one where the creative source of life is conceived in the image of a mother and where humanity feels itself and the rest of creation to be the mother's children." This beautiful female who sits before us may be a representation of a 'Mother Goddess,' as well. The lines etched around the outside of her breasts and the designs surrounding them direct attention to the sacred source. The center focus is directed to the nourishment of the flowing breast. The central theme of nourishment is all- inclusive. The shape of her full breasts and the swelling curves of her hips with the hole for the belly button, all emphasize the feeling of fecundity. A distinct division of her legs open at the entrance to the womb. The rippling movement of water painted above her womb suggests the source of the vegetative world and also of the waters of life. The geometric designs covering her voluptuous body may symbolize the sacred way of approach to a dimension invisible to human senses. "All these form an enduring constellation of images related to the figure of the Goddess, for they symbolize the intricate pathway that connects the visible world to the invisible, of the kind that souls of the dead would have taken to re-enter the womb of the Mother." (Baring and Cashford) The mouth is a peculiar part of this remarkable figure. Could this be an egg? The egg is also related to water as the primordial element in which life gestates. The egg and the womb are both images of the beginning of life. If she represents the mythical image from which creation emerged, she is surely one of the most beautiful goddesses in the enchanted world of fertility and birth. - (PF.3218)


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