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Reclaiming Tlatilco’s figurines from biased analysis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the label’s introduction in modern scholarship to explain the phenomenon of gender discrimination behind the screen provided by the ‘pretty lady’ tag imposed on the Tlatilcan female figurines. It also examines the reasons behind its acceptance in some of the most prestigious academic circles, and its profound negative impact on the study of the preclassic cultures that occupied the Valley of Mexico. The chapter proposes a different path to better understand Tlatilco’s exceptional artistic manifestation in Mesoamerican history. The motherhood theme and the figurines’ exuberant forms, together with the lack of more precise data from Tlatilco’s excavations, led 68% of the fifty-seven publications to assert that the female figurines functioned as fertility symbols. Cognizant of the profound ritual implications of the Tlatilco figurines, an iconographic analysis of the wide-hipped female figure revolving on her own axis will now be attempted.

Keywords: gender discrimination; Mexico; Tlatilcan female figurines



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