Art: Little Helpers

Fat-lipped and long in the nose, the squat, squashed clay figures sat imperturbably on view in a London gallery last week. They were gods & goddesses molded in America before the days of Columbus.

These idols and fetishes—along with pottery, textiles and sculpture—were fashioned in villages from Mexico down through the Central American jungles to Peru. A few antedated Christ as well as Columbus; there were clay fetishes molded over 2,000 years ago by the forerunners of the Maya, nomadic tribes who some authorities believe crossed Bering Strait to the new world from Asia....

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