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Art of the Ancient Americas
Artist: Unknown

Male Captive

A.D. 600–900

Ceramic with pigment

24.8 × 10.16 cm (9 3/4 × 4 in.)
Purchased with a bequest from Joan B. Rapp, B.L.S. 1991
Dignified even in captivity, this standing man awaits his death. He wears the torn cloth strips of sacrificial victims through his ears, and fragments remain of the rope that once bound his neck. Beads of blood or scarification mark his face on his left temple and take the form of the Jester God, a symbol of rulership. This terracotta representation probably commemorates the captive’s death and may have been a trophy for the tomb of his victorious captor.
Made in Mexico
On view
Mexico, probably Campeche, Jaina Island, Maya
Late Classic Period

ex collection Joan Rapp, acquired by her in the 1960s


“Acquisitions,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pub_Bull_acquisitions_2010.pdf (accessed 2012).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.