caryatid (n.)

"carved, robed female figure used as a column," 1560s, from Middle French cariatide, from Latin caryatides, from Greek Karyatides (singular Karyatis) "priestesses of Artemis at Caryae" (Greek Karyai), a town in Laconia where dance festivals were held in Artemis' temple. Male figures in a like situation are Atlantes, plural of Atlas. Related: Caryatic.

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