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Olmec Art - Seated Hollow Baby

            This genre of art derives from the "Olmec style" of the Gulf Coast. Based of the archeological findings, this specific "Seated Hollow Baby" is from the Veracruz region of Mexico and originated in 1100-900 B.C. According to the Dallas Museum of Art, "Hollow pottery babies are common in Olmec art. Massive stone thrones found in Gulf Coast Olmec centers depict kings holding supernatural infants." The seated hollow baby in the Dallas Museum of Art is small, dainty, and bald. What makes this sculpture so successful is the crown atop the baby's head. Maybe people are attracted to it because they want to know why a baby is wearing a crown. The Dallas Museum or Art eludes me to believe a crown is on the baby's head because it is heir to the throne. A normal Olmec baby would not wear a crown like object on its head; however, this "supernatural" baby is depicted with a crown on it symbolizing its status. .
             The seated hollow baby is a life-size effigy that sits eleven inches tall and eleven inches wide. This is not a normal sized baby; it's actually a lot smaller then the length of a baby today. I know humans were much shorter thousands of years ago, but the average size baby today is around twenty inches. Are Olmec babies really about ten inches shorter then today's babies? This specific baby posture is very unstable; it sits upright and his arms and legs stretch out to give him some balance. My first instinct is this baby must be happy because his arms are out! However, I came to the conclusion this baby is angry, or tired. When I started to look closer, I realized it feels restless. It attempts to move about to interact with another human being; however, there seems to be no one around for help. It seems that his arms are outstretched because he is reaching out for help. He clenches his hands because he is trying to grab onto something for support. His condition is different then a normal baby.

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