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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Zoomorphic Vessels : Tall Polychrome Alligator and Frog Vessel
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Tall Polychrome Alligator and Frog Vessel - PF.3790
Origin: Guanacaste-Nicoya
Circa: 1000 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 13.5" (34.3cm) high
Catalogue: V18
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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From the depths of the great Guanacaste-Nicoya Zone of the culturally rich country of Costa Rica, history and art combine to tell us a story. This artistic vessel may express one or many of the ancient stories or mythologies relating to the alligator and frog. Perhaps the alligator and frog, like Egyptian mythologies, refer to the fertility of the lands and abundant water supply. The frog is painted with its tongue sticking out. A rather sensitive rendering of a creature that often does just that. Molded on either side of the frog are spotted alligators with jaguar characteristics. A peculiar round nose is painted orange above the snarling wide-open mouths. The artist in following the swelling contours of this globular vessel has paid careful attention. The border on the top and bottom are filled with intricately painted elements of various motifs. Below the mouth rim, there is a row of hook designs. The swirling designs may refer to water. Heavy black stripes tie together the top and bottom of the vessel. This vessel may have served an important function during shaman rituals relating to fertility. The artistic ingenuity and beautiful shape of this vessel makes it a masterpiece of well-developed skill and remarkable creativity. - (PF.3790)


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