feminity, fertility

In non-western cultures, female effigies often incarnate ancestors.

In connection with the spirit world, of which they are guardians, they also represent goddess-mothers or goddesses who can be wild, protective, bearers of wisdom, noble or hieratic, graceful or sensual, and which are usually symbols of fertility.

With regard to the portrayal of motherhood, a recurring theme in African art, this refers to the idea of continuing the family or clan lineage, and to the transmission of knowledge.

  • Hooks

  • Anthropomorphic sculpture

  • Commemorative effigy

  • Ceremonial cloth

  • A Maam man attacking a pregnant woman

  • Statuette depicting a mother and her child

  • Statuette depicting the goddess Kankalinmata

  • Manasa, the goddess of snakes

  • Anthropomorphic mask

  • Anthropo-zoomorphic mask

  • Motherhood

  • Motherhood

  • Helmet mask

  • Female statuette

  • Cup bearer

  • Shadow puppet, Sita under her tree

  • Ritual doll

  • Chalchiuhtlicue

  • Anthropomorphic statuette: motherhood

  • Hunchback female figurine

  • Female figurine

Anthropomorphic statuette: motherhood

Anthropomorphic statuette: motherhood

Motherhood, shaft tomb culture, Mexico, state of Jalisco, 300 B.C. – 600 A.D., terra cotta, gift of Léon Diguet, 71.1904.19.137

In western Mexico, between 300 B.C. and 600 A.D., the dead bodies of the most prestigious people were placed in chambers reached through vertical shafts. Lavishly adorned, they were surrounded by receptacles and figurines depicting dogs, warriors or everyday scenes, such as motherhood.