Important Nayarit House with Occupants,
Protoclassic, ca. 100 B.C. - A.D. 250
height 12 5/8in (32.2cm)
Unslipped earthenware with cream, red and orange painted decoration
Jen-Ley Family Collection, Texas and California, acquired before 1960
This important Nayarit house depicts the burial rites of a high ranking villager, molded on a platform supporting a tall two-storied structure with a steep double-peaked roof, a figure seated holding the deceased in her lap wrapped in a burial shroud. In the foreground just outside the house a couple sits together wearing decorative tunics. Another couple sits opposite, the female consoling the grieving male who rests his head on her shoulder. A standing female brings food offerings to the house and another sitting inside prepares food offerings. Numerous examples of vessels containing food and offerings and four dogs, two standing guard at each side of the house. A sleeping male lies near the basement opening and a seated female on opposite side sits with hand to her mouth.
In this work, our unknown artist has clearly demonstrated his mastery of the medium and clarity of expression; he has created a touching scene, a snapshot of the past, of the funeral rites of the ancient Nayarit people.
cf. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, House Group, The Proctor Stafford Collection (M.86.296.38);
Chicago Art Institute, House Model with Ritual Feast, Gift of Ethel and Julian R. Goldsmith, (1991.479)