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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Saurian Deities : Guanacaste-Nicoya Vessel in the Form of a Saurian Deity
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Vessel in the Form of a Saurian Deity - PF.4122
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1000 AD to 1350 AD
Dimensions: 13.5" (34.3cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta


Location: United States
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Description
The mystical figure that stands before us most likely depicts a shaman wearing a zoomorphic mask. The mask consists of an alligator snout and coffee bean eyes with heavy eyelids. Perforated edges surround the entire mask with larger triangular-like projections placed at each corner. The snout has remnants of white paint still intact. Otherwise, the whole figure is covered in a dark-brown slip. The elaborate white-filled engraved lines may represent body tattooing, cloaks or skins. The hands are placed at the waist and a tripod supports the entire zoomorphic effigy vessel. The tripod consists of two of the figure's legs and a third that is a startling creature! The interpretation of this figure remains an enigma, but we can be certain it played an important role during ritual and is part of a great mythological framework. - (PF.4122)

 

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