Primary Source

Female Terracotta Figure


This small piece measures only 9.8 centimeters tall. It depicts a clothed female figure, who appears to be wearing some kind of European-style belted dress with a collar. The Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, which houses this piece, notes that these kinds of figures were used in Christmas decorations. It also has traces of stucco. Although the exact use of this figure is unclear, historians have explained that Catholic holidays such as Christmas were major spectacles in Spanish American societies. Both church and state authorities helped organized celebrations that spilled over into multiple days. The townspeople ate, drank, and came together in revelry to honor the occasion. This figure may have belonged to a larger Christmas decoration, or perhaps a personal display in an individual's home.


"Figura femenina." Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México. July 14, 2021.
Annotated by Brittany Erwin.

How to Cite This Source

"Female Terracotta Figure," in World History Commons, [accessed February 8, 2023]