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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Basalt Sukia Figures : Atlantic Watershed Basalt Sukia Figure
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Atlantic Watershed Basalt Sukia Figure - PF.3127
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 1000 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 13" (33.0cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt

Location: United States
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Pre-Columbian Art - From the depths of the Costa Rican jungle, this sukia figure has emerged along with a fascinating religious concept. The sukia figure is most probably a shaman: a tribal medicine man or wizard. He is shown playing a flute, smoking or blowing and sucking through a tube. All of these ritual activities were carried out by shamans in Pre-Columbian Central America, but the latter two activities best describe what these seated figures are doing, perhaps as part of a curing ritual. Due to the fact that some of these figures have recently been excavated near Carlago leads us to believe that were produced for ritual services. Although they may vary in different sizes, the pose is virtually identical. One might speculate that such sculpture was kept in indigenous domiciles for much the same reasons that a crucifix is hung on the walls of many modern Costa Rican homes. The shaman's eyes are softly closed in a meditative state and his lips gently surround the tube that his hands and fingers perfectly hold in place. The composition of the figure is simple, yet radiates a tremendous aura of divinity and sanctity, similar to the Buddha figures of Eastern Asia. - (PF.3127)


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