Primary Source

Small Terracotta Male


This figure measures only 12.4 centimeters tall. It dates from some time between the seventeenth and eighteenth century. It depicts a clothed male figure, with buttons running down the font of his outfit. It also features a stand at the back to balance the figure. The Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, which houses this piece, has explained that these kinds of figures were utilized in Christmas decorations. Catholic holidays like Christmas played a major role in the social life of the Spanish Americas. Municipal governments throughout the empire organized multi-day events to celebrate. They included parades, bull fights, banquets, and special church services. Decorations like this statue may have been made for one of these public displays, or for an individual home.


"Figura antropomorfa masculina." Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México. July 14, 2021.

How to Cite This Source

"Small Terracotta Male," in World History Commons, [accessed December 9, 2023]