Reconsidering Olmec Visual Culture: The Unborn, Women, and by Carolyn E. Tate

By Carolyn E. Tate

Lately, students of Olmec visible tradition have pointed out symbols for umbilical cords, bundles, and cave-wombs, in addition to an important variety of ladies portrayed on monuments and as collectible figurines. during this groundbreaking examine, Carolyn Tate demonstrates that those topics have been a part of an important emphasis on gestational imagery in Formative interval Mesoamerica. In Reconsidering Olmec visible tradition, she identifies the presence of girls, human embryos, and fetuses in monuments and conveyable items relationship from 1400 to four hundred BC and originating all through a lot of Mesoamerica. This hugely unique research sheds new gentle at the widespread roles that girls and gestational beings performed in Early Formative societies, revealing woman shamanic practices, the generative ideas that encouraged caching and bundling, and the expression of female wisdom within the 260-day cycle and comparable divinatory and formality activities.

Reconsidering Olmec visible tradition is the 1st research that situates the original hole infants of Formative Mesoamerica in the context of fashionable women and the customary imagery of gestation and start. it's also the 1st significant artwork ancient research of los angeles Venta and the 1st to spot Mesoamerica's earliest production narrative. It offers a extra nuanced figuring out of ways later societies, together with Teotihuacan and West Mexico, in addition to the Maya, both rejected sure Formative interval visible kinds, rituals, social roles, and ideas or followed and remodeled them into the long-lasting topics of Mesoamerican image systems.

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Additional info for Reconsidering Olmec Visual Culture: The Unborn, Women, and Creation (William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere)

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Furthermore, his taxonomy focused on decontextualized signs, not on whole objects. As is typical of many Mesoamerican iconographers, he tended to consider motifs only if they could be easily reduced to a two-dimensional format, and to ignore the significance of the threedimensional forms on which they appeared. 26 Reconsidering Olmec Visual Culture Although Joralemon, following Covarrubias and Coe, initially accepted the centrality of the jaguar to Olmec art, several scholars noted the lack of resemblance of the “were-jaguar” to a real jaguar and proposed alternative possibilities from the animal world as its source.

Yet, the idea of duality was enhanced by still another concept, no less pervasive, that of equilibrium and balance. Rather than the static repose of two equal weights or masses, it can be conceived as a force that constantly modifies the relation between dual and/or polar pairs.  .  . determined and modified the concept of duality. Besides, it was the condition for the preservation of the cosmos.  . 10 Detail from the Codex Borbonicus of the creator couple. Drawing by author. 11 La Venta figurine of pregnant woman.

Such corruption may generate life or may 14 Reconsidering Olmec Visual Culture will pull out all the timbers and reinsert them [another sexual metaphor] starting the fire again. In this case, however, they will also add bone to the logs.  . and thus it is as if the men have reinitiated the production process by refilling the oven/womb with bone/ semen. This interpretation is supported by the Mixtecs’ own explanation for this practice; they say that the bone gives yii “heat” or “force” to the fire.

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