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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Basalt Jaguar Metates : Atlantic Watershed Basalt Metate in the Form of a Jaguar
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Atlantic Watershed Basalt Metate in the Form of a Jaguar - PF.2736
Origin: Eastern Coast of Costa Rica
Circa: 100 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 12" (30.5cm) high x 12" (30.5cm) wide x 24" (61.0cm) depth
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt


Location: United States
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Description
The metate was originally used as a means of transforming maize into flour for human consumption. However, it was also used in religious rituals as a primary mortuary symbol, which promised rebirth and new life. This jaguar metate may have been buried in the tomb of a prominent person as a tool of transformation in the human life cycle. The precisely carved head of the jaguar confronts us as he gives light to the darkness in the underworld. The jaguar represented the night sun in the underworld and was often used in religious rituals symbolizing power. Geometric designs surround the border of the metate and continue on the face and tail of the jaguar. This interwining geometric motif may represent the woven mat, which was considered a common sign of authority in Meso- America. One wonders with whom this metate was buried. Was he a chieftain or a strong leader of great men? HT. 4 3/4IN: WT. 6IN: L. 11IN - (PF.2736)

 

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