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Hunchback Seated on a Stool

Hunchback Seated on a Stool

c. 600-800

Earthenware with colored slips

Overall: 25 x 19 x 25.1 cm (9 13/16 x 7 1/2 x 9 7/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1998.115

Description

The meanings of hunchbacks is not well-studied in Panamanian art. But to the north, in Mexico and Guatemala, such physical anomalies marked individuals of great spiritual power. A few of this figure’s features suggest that hunchbacks held similar status in Panama: The figure sits upon a four-legged stool, a symbol of authority, and the mythic creatures painted on each side may connect the figure to the supernatural realm.

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