Standing Warrior Figurine

Standing Warrior Figurine

700–900 CE
Campeche Jaina Island
figurine, warrior
Ceramic with pigment applied after firing
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of May D. & F. Co. in honor of David Touff

Unknown Maya artist, Possibly Jaina Island, Campeche region, Mexico. Standing Warrior Figurine, 700–900 CE. Ceramic with pigment applied after firing, 8 ½ x 4 x 3 ½ inches. Denver Art Museum Collection: Gift of May D. & F. Co. in honor of David Touff, 1969.308.

height: 8.5 in, 21.5900 cm; width: 4 in, 10.1600 cm; depth: 3.5 in, 8.8900 cm
Mayer Center, Arts of the Ancient Americas
Arts of the Ancient Americas
This object is currently on view

Warrior Figurine
About A.D. 600–900
Mexico, Campeche coast, Jaina Island
Earthenware with colored pigments
Gift of May D&F Company in honor of David Touff, 1969.308

Beautifully detailed ceramic figurines were often deposited as tomb offerings on Jaina Island, off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.  This example has a hand-modeled body and costume.  The face was probably made in a mold, with details (such as the facial tattooing or scarification) added by hand.  On one side of the face is a deity profile, on the other, a twisted cord or mat motif.  Both are symbols of rulership, perhaps indicating that the warrior portrayed by the figurine was a member of a royal family, or a courtier.

Exhibition History
  • "The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art" — Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, 5/17/1986 - 8/24/1986
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, 8/8/1986 - 12/14/1986
  • "Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya", National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 4/4/2004 - 7/25/2004
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 9/4/2004 - 1/2/2005
  • "Grand Gestures: Dance Drama Masquerade"—Denver Art Museum, [12/13/2015 - 12/11/2016]