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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Erotic Art : Atlantic Watershed Jade Phallic Ceremonial Spoon
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Atlantic Watershed Jade Phallic Ceremonial Spoon - PF.3138
Origin: Eastern Coast of Costa Rica
Circa: 100 AD to 500 AD

Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Atlantic Watershed
Medium: Jade

Location: United States
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In addition to being rare and beautiful, jade is the toughest and most durable of stones. Since weapons and cutting tools of jade greatly excel those of other stones, they became symbols of authority and ceremony. In elaborate burials and offerings, a high proportion of the surviving objects are made of jade, seemingly an indication that the material itself had assumed mystical qualities. In Middle America, the stones selected by ancient people were predominantly green, although they may not have been jadeite or nephrite. The phallus depicted on this extraordinary ceremonial spoon is an eternal symbol from antiquity to the present. It is able to transcend the differences of time and place and is Universal. It symbolizes the perpetuation of life and active power. This is a striking example of an artist's ability to combine this significant symbol with a utilitarian function. Undoubtedly this spoon served a very important part in ancient rituals. Also notice the four perforated and string-sawed holes underneath the spoon. It served as a pendant, as well. We can assume that a great nobility or shaman wore this magnificent pendant in the past. Possibly indicative of warrior-like characteristics or power, there is an alligator motif at the head of the phallus. The alligator symbolizes warrior- like characteristic due to its viciousness and destructive power. Since it inhabits a realm intermediate between earth and water, and is associated with mud and vegetation, it became to be thought of as an emblem of fertility and power. The claw which grips the spoon is most probably a jaguar's claw. The jaguar is the most feared and revered by all Mesoamerican cultures. The phallus is also the symbol of the propagation of cosmic forces. Universal and eternal, this is an exceptional work of art which exposes mankind's desire for answers of himself and the Universe. L. 8 3/4IN - (PF.3138)


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