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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Miscellaneous : Basalt Metate in the Form of a Jaguar
Basalt Metate in the Form of a Jaguar - PF.2786
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 16.25" (41.3cm) high
Catalogue: V13
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt


Location: United States
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Description
The metate was originally used as a means of transforming maize into flour for human consumption. However, it was also used in religious rituals as a primary mortuary symbol, which promised rebirth and a new life. This metate makes use of the jaguar motif, one of the most common figures in Central and South American mythology, generally used to express the strength and cunning of the jaguar god and the powerful men who controlled relations with this spirit. This metate, in contrast to typical heavier examples, concentrates less on the ferocity of the jaguar and instead presents a fluid, stylized jaguar head. Adding to the complexity of this piece is the interwoven ornamentation and the small full-figure representations of animals on the neck. Though it uses common forms and imagery, these call attention to space and decoration in a way, which is not found in other more solid looking examples. HT. 41cm(16 1/4IN): L. 84cm(33IN) - (PF.2786)

 

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