Jomon, meaning “cord-marked,” refers to the impressions left from rolling twisted rope across the surface of moist clay. The purpose of Jomon figurines is not known, but they may have been used as protective charms or fertility symbols. Most were excavated from pit dwellings, burial sites, or simple shrines. The figurines exhibit a variety of abstract, humanoid shapes that are highly imaginative. This work has a hollow, thin-walled body supported by short tubular legs and wide hips. The cord-marked patterning on the face, chest, and hips is characteristic of late Japanese Neolithic pottery.
Okura Collection, Tokyo;
(Kochukyo Co., Ltd., Tokyo);
(N. V. Hammer, Inc., New York);
purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1971.