A rare solid figure of a dancer, earthenware with traces of polychrome pigment. The figure is leaning slightly forward and bending the knees, with his bent arms apart; each hand is wrapped in a mitt, and possibly he was once lifting a pair of rattles, as seen on some parallel statuettes. He is wearing an elaborate and finely modeled ceremonial attire, including a loincloth that is decorated with applied beads, leg disks, beaded bands around the upper arms and other ornaments on the chest and back. The most striking element of his attire is the headdress, which shows the snout of a crocodile with fierce interlocked teeth, and a tall crest of plumes.
During the Comala phase in Colima and in neighboring southern Jalisco, local traditions of small, solid figurines first seen in Ortices and Tuxcacuesco styles evolved into highly detailed figurines displaying complex ritual attire. Some of these had a headdress that was removable, and some functioned as a whistle from the top of the head, showing their intended ceremonial use.
Mexico, Late Preclassic, ca. 300 B.C. – 300 C.E.
Provenance: Dutch private collection, acquired in 2002; before that in the collection of Raymond Minney, U.S.A., since the 1950s