Pre-Columbian Art :
Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Guanacaste-Nicoya Terracotta Brazer with Four Monkeys
Guanacaste-Nicoya Terracotta Brazer with Four Monkeys - PF.3867
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
7.25" (18.4cm) high
| Photo Gallery
The spirit of creativity and humor radiates from
this fine brazer. The ancient artist has carefully
observed the similarities between man and
monkey. With this observation, he has created a
creature that combines the comic character of
the monkey and physical characteristics of man.
Four of these delightful creatures surround this
wide, shallow bowl. This brazer most likely
played an important function during shamanism
rituals. The curves and shapes of the arms, legs
and tails of these creatures create a special
intricacy of motion encircling the outside of the
bowl. Each body part flows into the other. It is
impossible to look at this bowl without turning
it. This implies a very intimate and personal
contact by the owner who once possessed this.
Did the ancient owner understand the full
meaning behind the comical expression of their
open eyes, mouths, and ears? Each of us may
attach a different meaning to the expression.
This is the gift the artist has given to us. One
hand of each creature appears to be holding the
bowl on top. The tails swing and grip the
pedestal below which they are also sitting on.
Their feet rest on the outer bottom rim of the
pedestal. The entire work of art still maintains
its glowing burnished orange brilliance . . .
glowing with the fire which once blazed below it.
The spirit of ingenuity and beauty of a highly
artistic culture and mystical land still radiates
from this beautiful brazer.