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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Jaguar Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel - PF.4145
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1200 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 15.5" (39.4cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Guanacaste-Nicoya
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The jaguar has had great mythological significance in Pre-Columbian art from the earliest Olmec civilization. The great cat, both beautiful and fierce, has been the subject of devotion and adoration for centuries. Hollow rattle tripod legs, two of which are the jaguar's hind legs, support this fabulous pear-shaped jar depicting the jaguar. Above the third leg at the rear, squiggly lines outlined in black show the jaguar’s tail. Two short hollow forelegs loop out from the sides of the body with paws resting on the hind legs. An expressive hollow rattle jaguar's head is attached on the upper portion of the vessel. The ferocious open mouth exposes white fangs and is surrounded by a serrated collar with a bib painted with circles and dots. The wide panel around the neck of the jar is composed of various stylized elements. The entire composition is full of dynamic power. Such an extraordinary jar was certainly used during rituals by a person of high rank and authority in society. - (PF.4145)


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