Mojave Male Standing Figure with Hands on Stomach [SOLD]

C4127D-figurine.jpg

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Artist Unknown
  • Category: Figurines
  • Origin: Mojave
  • Medium: clay, pigment - with handmade stand
  • Size: 9-¼” height - with handmade stand
  • Item # C4127D
  • SOLD

As with the Pueblo Indians, the Mojave treated pottery-making as woman’s work.  A Mojave woman made pottery in the dry season when materials were dry and firing could be done while the ground was dry.  Generally, a potter would move away from the immediate vicinity of her home to carry out the firing process: the reason being so that no one could cast bad thoughts on her work and cause her pottery to crack or break during firing.  It anything happened while she was making pottery that caused it to not come out right, she stopped and said that the pottery did not approve, so she put it away until another day. Furst 2001:77

When the Mojave began making pottery figurines is not known exactly as records do not exist.  The Mojave believed in destroying everything associated with a person when that person died. If there are any accession records that have not yet surfaced, then a date of earlier ones may someday become available.

The Mojave’s neighbors, the Quechans, were making dolls to be sold to tourists as early as 1870.  The route taken by tourists passed by the Quechans lands but bypassed that of the Mojave. It is likely that the Mojave witnessed the Quechan selling dolls and started making similar ones sometime later..  

It is believed that all the Mojave dolls of this style were probably made in the early 1900s.  There were a few Mojave potters in the mid-20th century, but they generally signed their works.  This doll is not signed with the name of the maker so it probably is one from the first quarter of the twentieth century.  


Condition: this Mojave Male Standing Figure with Hands on Stomach is in good condition with some damage to both feet.

Provenance: from the estate of Henry Christensen III of New York who had purchased it from Adobe Gallery in 2004.  Adobe Gallery had previously acquired it from the Chuck and Jan Rosenak folk art collection.

Reference: Mojave Pottery, Mojave People—The Dillingham Collection of Mojave Ceramics by Jill Leslie Furst

Close up view of the Mojave Doll face.


Artist Unknown
  • Category: Figurines
  • Origin: Mojave
  • Medium: clay, pigment - with handmade stand
  • Size: 9-¼” height - with handmade stand
  • Item # C4127D
  • SOLD

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