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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Terracotta Sculpture of Homosexual Copulating Couple
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Terracotta Sculpture of Homosexual Copulating Couple - PF.3973
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 800 AD
Dimensions: 8.25" (21.0cm) high
Catalogue: V22
Collection: Pre Columbian
Medium: Terracotta


Location: UAE
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Description
If it were not for art providing us with a privileged glimpse into secret worlds, we would know nothing about ritual and ceremony in pre- Columbian society. However, with examples such as this fascinating statue we can begin to see more clearly the mysteries of an extraordinary culture. Firstly, lets examine the similarities and differences in the couple. Both men are naked, in the act of coitus, and covered head to toe in body paint or tattooing. The pattern is distinctly different in each. The man in front appears as the passive partner, with his mouth open and eyes squinting in pleasure. The other's eyes are wide open, expressively made with stubs of clay. He wears a headdress very much like a crown, and fashioned with such care as if to represent a real object. He is in fact a great warrior giving some of his power to someone weaker than himself. Sex was regarded as a way of transmitting energy from one person to another, particularly valuable when it was from warrior to warrior. This was not necessarily a private act and may have been preformed in a public ceremony. This explains why their bodies are so elaborately painted, and why a work of art was created to commemorate the event. It is remarkable to think that an object which can be held in the palm of a hand, can allow us to witness a ritual which is still considered taboo today; and opens a window into the mores of a vanished society through the ingenious hands of an artist. - (PF.3973)

 

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