Yucatán and Petén lowlands (Mexico)
Island of Jaina (Maya)
Whistle in the Form of a Dignitary
Ceramic and pigment
7-1/2 inches high, 3-1/4 inches wide, 2 inches deep
The John R. Van Derlip Fund
This dignitary figure is hollow and perforated on the back. It can be
blown like a whistle and therefore functions as a musical instrument.
The whistle comes from the island of Jaina (HY-nah), off the Gulf Coast of
Mexico. The ancient Maya placed such figurines in graves with the bodies
of rulers and noble families.
Artists made some parts of the figurines in molds and then EMBELLISHED them by adding hand-modeled facial features, headdresses, clothing, and accessories.
The figure can be identified as a man of importance based on his proud,
dignified bearing, as well as his hairdo, headdress and clothing.