Mezcala, Ancient Mexican Sculpture

Mezcala, Ancient Mexican Sculpture

Mezcala, Ancient Mexican Sculpture

Mezcala, Ancient Mexican Sculpture

Excerpt

Stone figures from the Mezcala river basin have been known in Mexico for many years, exposed by the spade of occasional archeologists, the shovels of roadbuilders, and the plows of Indian peasants in the remote mountain valleys of the State of Guerrero.

But until recently, this sculpture was but little known and less appreciated. As was the case with the art of so many archaic cultures --Sardinian and Cycladic are other instances --it took the experience of modern art to open our eye to this ancient art's force and beauty.

The makers of Mezcala stone figures had only the simplest of tools to work with, stone and obsidian drills and chisels, painfully and laboriously chipped out of the hard, unyielding rock. They worked without the help of metal, without any but the simplest polishing devices. Yet the stones they chose for their sculpture were almost always the hardest they could find, stones so hard a fine steel pen-knife can but barely scratch them.

These ancient sculptors gave their figures a hand-worn, smoothed and polished finish that speaks of great patience and love. Perhaps only someone who has tried to cut and polish a stone with a simple tool can have adequate respect for the marvelous accomplishments of these stone-age artists. Their sculpture is not only visual art-- most of it is wonderfully tactile, smooth and sensuous to the hand. The celt figures, the rounded and polished small masks and little animals, they almost demand to be touched and held.

Some figures are only two or three inches tall, and few exceed fifteen inches in height. But when photographed, their true monu-

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.