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



Chalchiuhtlicue, Aztec culture, Mexico, Basin of Mexico, 1325-1521 AD, painted volcanic rock, gift of Alphonse Pinart, 71.1878.1.97

Chalchiuhtlicue, “she of the jade skirt”, is distinguished by a diadem decorated with tassels and a folded paper decoration at the back of her head. On her torso, a red triangle, there is the cape that was worn by women. Chalchiuhtlicue was the powerful goddess of rivers, lakes and oceans. Kind and good, she was revered by kings and lords because, along with the goddess of maize and salt, she nourished the people so that they could live and reproduce. She was invoked by midwives for the benefit of her waters. Just like all of the gods of the Aztec pantheon, she also had a wild side and could provoke storms and whirlwinds. This is one of the largest known statues of this goddess. It has been intentionally damaged.