Pre-Columbian, Gulf Coast Mexico, Vera Cruz, Remojadas, ca. 100 BCE to 800 CE. An endearing terracotta sonriente (smiling face) whistle figure. Sonrientes are the most well-known of Remojadas figurines, featuring a traditional wide smile revealing filed teeth on a characteristically almost triangular shaped face, attached to a child-like body with outstretched limbs. This figure is also adorned by earspools and a tall headdress. Why that smile? Some scholars believe that it was hallucinogenically produced perhaps by ingesting alcoholic pulque, while others such as Miller and Taube suggest that the smiling figures were actually performers. Size: 4.625" W x 11.25" H (11.7 cm x 28.6 cm); 11.5" H (29.2 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private T. Misenhimer collection, Beverly Hills, California, USA, collected from 1970 to 2008
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Repair and restoration to mouthpiece, limbs, and much of body, with resurfacing and overpainting along new material and break lines. Chips to head, face, body, arms, and legs, with softening to some facial features, and light encrustations. Nice figural form preserved. Flute produces low-pitched notes when played.