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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Terracotta Female Statue
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Terracotta Female Statue - PF.4274
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 800 AD
Dimensions: 23.25" (59.1cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta


Location: United States
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Description
During this period ( ca. 500 -800 A.D.) particularly fine ceramics were produced known as Galo Polychrome. They are distinguished by their burnished surface, technical mastery and vivid colors of oranges, maroons, yellows, and black in intricate designs. Subject matter was often of full figures or effigy heads. Here we see a splendid woman elaborately painted. Much of her body is covered in designs, either representing tattooing or body paint. These patterns are so precise as to indicate a definite purpose. Her breasts are encircled in a spiral shape. The legs are bare to the knee where begins vertical and horizontal lines imitating leg straps. The feet are solidly painted as if to represent sandals. She wears a slim waist band and a soft cap. A circle on her forehead with lines radiating outwards suggests the sun. An interesting feature is the long braid of hair which she holds with her left hand. The other hand is placed confidently on her hip. She may have been a sorceress or representation of a female deity- in any case her presence is both commanding and entrancing. - (PF.4274)

 

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