It had been a long day. We were tired. I thought I knew about big heads. I was wrong. Though we had only 45 minutes in the Museo de Antropologia de Xalapa, it would have been a great loss to miss this place. (Do click on the link; the website is exceptionally good.)
It seems that from roughly 1200 to 900 BCE, a people called the Olmec lived and thrived in what are now the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco. And they thought big.
This picture gives a sense of scale. It is also the only one of six of these at this museum that some scholars think may have represented a woman. Our group of four uppity women came to that conclusion without prompting from the label.
Some Afro-centrist historians have pointed out that the features on these Gulf of Mexico colossi suggest an African origin; other anthropologists wonder if there was a Chinese influence. Quien sabe?
He's certainly fierce looking. When I get a chance, I'll have to read some of the literature about the lost civilization that produced these enormous figures. A long Wikipedia entry on the Olmec might provide a starting place.