Figure of seated steatopygous woman - ROM2018_16147_80


Figure of seated steatopygous woman

Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 4000-3000 BC
Period: Predynastic Period
16.7 × 7.2 × 14.7 cm
Object number: 910.92.7
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Seated steatopygous female figure in an unusual pose with her legs outstretched. This position allows the figure to remain upright perhaps to participate in some ritual activity. The head has been severely damaged by hacking, but there seems to be a beak face. She wears a tripartite wig painted black with a lappet over each shoulder with incised chevron decoration. On the back the wig goes to mid-shoulder length and is decorated with ringlets in vertical columns. Short thin arms curve from her shoulders to hold her modelled breasts.  Above the breasts are painted three necklace strands. Her legs stretch out forward 11 cm, sloping down from a black painted pubic area.  An incised line separates the two legs both on the top and bottom of the seated figure and continues through the feet. Black painted anklets c. 1 cm wide decorate both legs with zig-zag designs between black bands.

Black paint indicates extensive body ornament (perhaps tattoos), especially on her back. On the shoulder blades are two opposing animals (goats?) facing inwards.  Below them and below the arms on the back of the figure is a rectangular linear design which could represent a basket slung on the back of the figure. Below this is a v-shaped chevron pointed downwards beneath which is a scrolling design ending in a ball at either side.


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