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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Archive : Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel - PF.3543
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1200 AD to 1400 AD
Dimensions: 13" (33.0cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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This Nicoya polychrome vessel belongs to the pataky polychrome type. Elaborately decorated with symbols and patterns, this tripod vessel was most likely used in a ritual or a ceremony, which was to ensure agricultural prosperity and fertility. In a high-relief style, the front of the vessel depicts an image of an important Meso- American jaguar-god, who roamed the fertile grounds and forests of Costa Rica. Its protruding head shows the large, bulging eyes and the wide-open mouth, which reveal the dangerous fangs. The attributes of the jaguar god such as power and force are expressed evidently. The jaguar face is decorated with black and orange painted lines to show stylized details of the facial feature. It also wears a headdress, an elaborate neckpiece with a large pendant, wrist cuffs, and ankle cuffs. Such beautiful enhancements suggest the high, divine status and power of the revered jaguar god in Ancient Costa Rica. Moreover, the position of the jaguar emanates a majestic, regal essence; the hands rest on the knees and the large legs firmly support the vessel. The neck of the vessel is also decorated with pictorial symbols that possibly indicate the significance and the function of this special vessel. Such magnificent sculpture has a strong visual impact as well as an emotional impact on its viewers. As we contemplate this ancient evidence of belief, we recognize that our desire for prosperity remained the same throughout the obstacle of time. - (PF.3543)


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