Seated bearded man

600–900 CE
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General Description

Probably a portrait of a Classic Maya nobleman, this figure wears a large shell on his chest. The Maya favored spiny oyster shells with bright red exteriors and lords often wore them on pilgrimages to important festivals. Maya weavers of the Classic period were famous throughout Mesoamerica for their cotton textiles. Although none have survived burial conditions in the warm, humid climate, the turban-like headdress worn by this figure provides a glimpse into Classic Maya textile art.

Adapted from

Carol Robbins, Label text, A. H. Meadows Galleries, 2010.