Analysis of Artifact

The artifact is titled Female Figurine, the artist is unknown, and can be viewed on this site under "3-D Model" or "3-D Print". The demensions of the artifact are 7.5" x 2.5" x 2" and it can be roughly dated to the 18th century, at the end of the Malla period in Nepal. However, it was brought to the University of New Hampshire museum, its current location, in 1990. The medium of the artifact is wood that had been painted at one time, but the paint no longer stands except for lone remains. Nonetheless, the obvious woodwork and shape of the artifact such as the lines and form of the figure allude to the voluptuous nature of the female and indicate to the viewer understanding of abundance, harvest, and security.

For instance, the sweeping form of the belly and backside and overall roundness of the figure convey a sense of stability to the viewer. The lines are also soft indicating benevolence and grace. These aspects, as well as the possible necklace or sash on the figure’s body, correlate well to the historical context the artifact due to its religious background. Moreover, the fact that the face seemed to have been rubbed away can also signify repeated smoothing of the face in perhaps prayer or in some form of good luck to the viewer regarding these perceived aspects.

It can also be seen that the head and hips are tilted to the left. Not only does this give the figure a kind of life like quality it also implies that the figure has interest in the viewer or possibly that the viewer feels as though the figurine is paying attention.[1] Moreover, the slight angling of the body is also concurrent with the religious description and historical context of the artifact as well.

Another aspect of the artifact is the faint traces of paint that can be viewed on the left side of the face and chest and shoulder all in a red hue. This indicates that at one point the figure may have been brightly painted maybe to convey the same positive emotions as discussed above: abundance, joy, harvest, sanctuary, etc. The smooth texture of the wood and bountiful texture of the hair can also indicate this. Additionally, there is a glossy patina and general age of orange color to the wood that may also indicate its age and care since the artifact’s creation.

Overall, it seems that the female figurine is meant to display a sense of peace and bountifulness to the viewer. It should be a sturdy benevolent spirit that a person is able to easily worship for perhaps religious reasons. Furthermore, the roundness of the figure can also share these feelings as well as suggest a celebration of the female form.


[1] Straker, David. Changing Minds. Syque Publishing, 2014.