This vessel is a wonderful piece of artistry. The
tripod legs are very round and sturdy lacking any
signs of tribal design other than a solid orange
base coat. The monkey's body is in the shape of
a robust gourd. The head protrudes from the
vessel and the face is highly realistic. The
monkey's jaw is jutting forward and the mouth is
shaped in a round cylinder fashion. This
probably signifies speech. The eyes are set back
within the face and they are alert and alive.
There are circular patterns on the head depicting
the monkey's coat. The arms are raised off the
vessel and the hands rest upon the belly. The
long neck of the vessel is covered in many
significant tribal designs and geometric patterns.
The most prominent designs are two faces on
the sides of the vessel that represent other
stylized animal images. They are sinister in
appearance and act as a scarecrow to those who
want to intrude on the contents of the vessel.
The tail protrudes from the back of the vessel
and wraps around the side. The Costa Ricans
used the flora and fauna of their environment as
the subject matter for the art they produced.
The images of certain animals symbolized
different powers. The monkey is a humorous
and intelligent animal always offering
entertainment and perhaps their food. This
zoomorphic effigy vessel of a monkey most
probably contained food that the monkey was
the protector for.