standing female figure with proper left arm bent, hand at side; flat mask like face, adorned by earrings and necklace; ridged dress extends to floor covering legs and feet

Haniwa of a Female Shrine Attendant, 6th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
G205expand_more

This haniwa, or clay funerary figurine, represents a female figure. Her necklace of magatama (claw- or fang-shaped jewels of special protective power) tells us that she is a miko, or shrine attendant, a respected position in early Japanese society. Traces of red pigment on her cheeks indicate tattoos or ceremonial face paint. In her original state she most likely wore a wide, flat hairdo that extended over her forehead. Her right arm, although now broken, once held a cup, an indication that she was responsible for preparing medicinal or magical potions.

Details
Title
Haniwa of a Female Shrine Attendant
Role
Artist
Accession Number
97.38
Curator Approved

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standing female figure with proper left arm bent, hand at side; flat mask like face, adorned by earrings and necklace; ridged dress extends to floor covering legs and feet