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Carved Bone Batten with Figures
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Carved Bone Batten with Figures, result 1 of 1

Item Details
Public
Available to everyone
Culture
Mixtec
Title
Carved Bone Batten with Figures
Work Type
Textile Fabricating Tool
Date
ca. 900-1200 AD
Location
Creation Site: Mesoamerica, Valley of Nochixtlan or Valley of Oaxaca
Material
Animal bone
Period
Early Post-Classic
Measurements
8 1/8 x 1 1/4 in. (20.7 x 3.2 cm)
Description
More than thirty examples of this type of carved bone were excavated from Tomb 7 at the Oaxacan site of Monte Alban, the capital of the Zapotec state. This particular carved bone probably came from either the Valley of Oaxaca or the nearby Valley of Nochixtlan. It is beautifully carved, its complex imagery masterfully packed into the small, curved format of the bone. There are identifiable figures on this piece that add to our understanding of Mixtec historical recording. In the central panel two heads face each other in conversation. The left-hand figure is speaking (a speech scroll is visible in front of his nose), seemingly about a day in the ritual calendar that may be 3 Movement. 6 Crocodile (a man's name) sits in the left-hand panel and 6 Rain sits in the right-hand one. The former takes the position of a deceased person, legs drawn up and arms on the knees, and the latter takes a position of giving veneration. Crocodile heads adorn both pointed ends, as they do on almost all the Monte Alban carved bones, perhaps placing the events on or under the earth (in the Land of the Dead), which was seen as a crocodile's back in most ancient Mesoamerican cultures. This scene probably records the death of 6 Crocodile on day 3 Movement. These carved bones are battens used to pick up warp threads in complicated weaving sequences and to help beat down the weft after the shed has been changed. On this example the pointed ends have broken, suggesting use. The functionality of these battens also implies that the graves containing them may be those of women, who where the principal, though not necessarily the exclusive, weavers in ancient Mesoamerica. However, weaving also carries a deeper significance in Mesoamerican cultures. The orderliness of weaving is associated with the celestial cosmic sphere, the ultimate goal of the afterlife journey. Thus, to take with the deceased a weaving tool, specifically one that orders the threads being picked up, may have more than gender implications. A ceremonial but functional weaving implement may serve to represent the triumph of order over chaos and the deceased over the Underworld.
Repository
Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University
Accession Number
1994.018.013
Source
Gift of Cora W. and Laurence C. Witten II
Photographer: Michael McKelvey
Published References
Rebecca Stone-Miller, Seeing with New Eyes: Highlights of the Michael C. Carlos Museum Collection of Art of the Ancient Americas (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2002), 46-47, figure 76.
Michael C. Carlos Museum: Highlights of the Collections (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2011), 87.
Bibliography
Published: Rebecca Stone-Miller, Seeing with New Eyes: Highlights of the Michael C. Carlos Museum Collection of Art of the Ancient Americas (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2002): page 46-47, figure 76.
Exhibition History
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, September 2002 - October 1, 2004
MCCM Permanent Collection Gallery, February 1, 2005 - June 2012
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, February 9, 2013 - Present
On View
Yes
Rights
© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Michael McKelvey.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University. This image is available under the ArtStor Digital Library Terms and Conditions of Use only. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University. This image is available under the ArtStor Digital Library Terms and Conditions of Use only. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.
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License
Use of this image is in accordance with the Artstor Terms & Conditions
File Properties
File Name
11008093.fpx
SSID
11008093

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