Here we have a Pre Columbian Sonrientes whistle of a standing male figure, complete with a big smile. The ancestral people (600 - 900 AD) from the Remojadas region of Mexico had a knack for art and pottery, and this gentleman is just one example of their amazing craft. And he can light up any room. The research says the smiles may come from hallucinogens...who says history is boring?
Here is the Sonrientes section of the Remojadas Wikipedia page:
The Sonrientes (smiling faces) are the most well-known of Remojadas figurines, featuring wide smiles on curiously shaped—almost triangular—faces. Often the heads are disembodied. Other times they are attached to childlike bodies with outstretched arms and displayed palms. The smile is rather formalised, usually showing teeth and, on occasion, a tongue sticking out between the teeth.
Male sonrientes are nude or wear loinclothes. Females wear skirts. Both are usually adorned with pectoral bands and/or necklaces, as well as some type of headdress. The headdress, and often the skirts, display a glyph-like emblem or a stylized animal.
Smiling figurines are rare in Mesoamerican art, and the sheer number of Sonrientes figurines likely attests to their special role in the Remojadas society, although what that role might be has produced much speculation. Some researchers see the characteristic smile as being hallucinogenically produced or perhaps the result of consumption of the alcoholic pulque. One researcher boldly states that they are "undoubtedly related to the cult of the dead". However, Mary Ellen Miller and Karl Taube find that "it is more likely that many of the smiling figures represent performers".
Here is an interesting write up about the smiling ceramic figures courtesy of the MetMuseum website.
The ancient art figure comes out of an old Pre Columbian collection from Iowa. On the reverse there is a tag stating "Property of John L. Wissing."
The smiling Sonrientes figure stands 9 1/2" tall, 6 1/2" wide at the arms and just over 2" deep at the head. There is significant areas of discoloration, which I believe results from being buried in the earth for ages. There are some small chips near the eye and right cheek. I didn't try the actual whistle since I'm not how much history is inside his ceramic figure. I'm not keen on finding out the hard way. Please see all pics as they are part of the description.
I ship FedEx to street addresses in the continental USA only (no PO boxes please). Free shipping on the ancient ceramic.
Hundreds of years of style with this smiling gent. What a righteous piece of ancient history.