Bench Figure


Not on view

From the third millennium B.C. onward, Ecuadoran people had a figurine tradition that would last until the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century. The figurines of the best-known regional styles of the first millennium A.D.—Tolita/Tumaco, Jama Coaque, Bahiá, and Guangala–share similarities based on the earlier and more widely distributed Chorrera style. Various degrees of realism and sculptural modeling appear in the figurines, which have an average height of about seven to twelve inches. Some Tolita/Tumaco examples, however, can be as tall as three feet.

A nude, heavily built male figure sits on a bench in frontal, perfectly symmetrical pose, with hands on knees and head held upright. His expressionless face gazes straight forward and simple gold rings are in the nose and ears. Red pigment remains on much of the figure's surface. The bench, made separately, is indicative of the figure's rank and authority. Such figures may have been dressed for special occasions.

Bench Figure, Ceramic, gold, post-fire paint, Tolita-Tumaco

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.