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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Terracotta Sculpture Of A Man
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Terracotta Sculpture Of A Man - PF.3599
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 800 AD
Dimensions: 20.5" (52.1cm) high
Catalogue: V16
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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With fire and power in his eyes, the man stands erect. The sculpture is an ancestral piece, representing the dignity and social status of his family. The two most prominent features are the objects featured in his hands and his expansive tattooing. The two gourd-like objects in his hands may symbolize his occupation with musical instruments or as a warrior or possibly a shaman performing a holistic ritual. Whatever his occupation, the intensity of his face proves his determination. The plethora of tattooing indicates that he was still a very important and influential man in the tribe. His forehead and cheeks are both decorated in a geometric band form. The tattooing continues along the shoulders, arms, chest, legs and back, each in a different geometric pattern. The sculpture also shows remnants of a burnishing which would have given the piece additional brilliance. Who was this man? And why does he appear to us with such fire and passion? Though the answer can never be wholly known, we still have been given a wonderful opportunity to get to know his sculptural legacy. - (PF.3599)


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