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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Jaguar Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel - PF.3489
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1200 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 11.75" (29.8cm) high
Catalogue: V16
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This jaguar effigy vessel is a classic example of Nicoya Polychrome. The jaguar is a highly respected animal in the Costa Rican culture. The dual purpose of this vessel is to become a rattle, as we find a clay ball contained within the grasp of the mouth. Although the modeling of the jaguar form is realistic, there is a humanlike element present seen as the jaguar relaxes its front paws on the upright human legs. The hues of orange, black, and white are bold enough to express the powerful features of the jaguar including its face, . and strong limbs. The colors accentuate the most important parts of the animal such as the big eyes, the sharp teeth, and the dynamic arm muscles. The patterning around the creature are heads of the jaguar, the symbol of power and majesty in this culture. This vessel is a piece full of strength and symbolism, in that the most revered creature is featured twice; once as a three dimensional face and the second time surrounding all of the extremities of this animal. This piece powerfully represents the Costa Rican culture through the symbolism and the use of color, line, and composition of form. - (PF.3489)


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