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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Zoomorphic Vessels : Zoomorphic Effigy Jar
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Zoomorphic Effigy Jar - PF.4214
Origin: Costa Rica (Guanacaste-Nicoya)
Circa: 1000 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 11.5" (29.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The ancient people of Costa Rica created magnificent works of art, such as this terra-cotta jar. They created their own distinctive forms, as this beautifully sculpted vessel shows. The elegant swelling curves of this pear-shaped effigy tripod is utilized to represent a zoomorphic creature. The applied rattle head is centered between the front two of the attached rattle tripods. The third, a tail-like support, is at the rear. The feet appear to belong to the jaguar, but the head and tail appear to belong to the Coatimundi. The Coatimundi is a carnivorous, raccoon-like mammal of tropical America. The charming creature looks as though he is smiling at us while he rests his chin on his striped arms. Encircling the upper portion of the jar is a delicately painted, wide band containing jaguar motifs. This brightly painted effigy jar most probably carried ritual information and served as a means of communication among the natives of Costa Rica. It suggests the presence of elaborate ritual activities and a rich mythology. - (PF.4214)


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