The crocodile is a symbol of fertility and the
rains for the Ancient Costa Ricans. When the
crocodile mates once a year, it lets out a roar
from flapping its tail. The impact of the tail
creates ripples upon the water. By coincidence,
the crocodile mates right before the rainy season
in Middle America. Thus, Ancient people thought
that the crocodile determined whether or not
there would be rains if it flapped its tail during
mating season. The crocodile's "thunder"
represented the rainy season's thunder, which
was imperative for this culture's crops to grow.
This crocodile is a symbol for power and majesty
in the Costa Rican culture. Crocodile's and
humans were cohabitants in the jungle-like
Costa Rica, making the people simultaneously
reveres and fears these creatures for their
immense power. This artist has created a
beautiful example of how this culture felt about
the crocodile. It is also a rattle, showing that it
was used in rituals, or ceremonial worship. As
the crocodile smiles at us, he shows us his sharp
teeth, accentuated by the angular, black lines. Its
beauty is fearsome and magnificent at the same
time. The patterning on the vessel may represent
the shapes created as the tail beats upon the
water. These geometric shapes create a fantastic
movement around the vessel. The lines are very
angular, reflecting the strength of the crocodile.
The artist of this magnificent work of art shows
us the Costa Rican's favorite animal, and the
crocodile's immense power.