The Woman Of Willendorf – Admission/Application Essay Example

The Woman of Willendorf figurine is nearly 25,000 years old. I was found in central Europe and has captures the interest of historians, archaeologists and paleoanthropologists for many years. Hunter-gatherer tribes would have inhabited this area of Europe 25,000 years ago. The person that created the Woman of Willendorf would have made this figurine in their spare time after a hunt or a long day of gathering wild food for sustenance. Life was very difficult for humans in the Paleolithic Age. A complete lack of modern convenience and uncertain food supplies resulted in a brief lifespan of 25-30 years for these people. The harshness of life may also explain some of the features of the Woman of Willendorf.
All of the parts of a female’s external anatomy that deal with childbirth feeding are greatly exaggerated. The breasts on the figurine are massive in relation to the rest of the body proportions. The vulva is depicted in greater detail than any other portion of the body. In addition to this emphasis, the entire body appears to be overweight by modern standards (Seshadri, 2012). A large, round belly is a prominent feature of the figurine. Other parts of the figurine are obscured. The figurine has no facial features and is devoid of feet.
Many have speculated that this figurine is perhaps the ideal woman for the Paleolithic Age (Suleiman, 1986). Large breasts and vulva hint at the ability to reproduce and sustain life. The rotund belly may indicate health and perhaps even prosperity (DiGeorgio-Lutz, 2002). Not as much has been made of the lack of facial features and feet. Perhaps these were omitted because reproductive ability was the real focus of the artist that made the figurine.
Works Cited
DiGeorgio-Lutz, JoAnn. Women in Higher Education: Empowering Change. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002. Print.
Seshadri, Krishna. "Obesity: A Venusian Story of Paleolithic Proportions." Indian Journal of Endocrinology 16.1 (2012): 134-35. Print.
Suleiman, Susan R. The Female Body in Western Culture: Contemporary Perspectives. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1986. Print.