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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Jaguar Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Vessel with an Applique Jaguar
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Vessel with an Applique Jaguar - PF.3148
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1200 AD to 1400 AD
Dimensions: 9.5" (24.1cm) high
Catalogue: V15
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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This is a masterpiece of composition graced with the rich qualities of originality and sensitivity. On a sun-drenched background, there growls a magnificent jaguar, which appears to be suspended in action. The jaguar is highlighted with designs of color and dimension. Our attention is focused on the forearm of the jaguar as it grips the bands of color. The jaguar's head is turned and peers past the area of inclination to an imaginary space or object beyond us. A growl thrusts forth from his wide-open mouth revealing his sharp teeth. Eyelashes have been tenderly depicted above the lively staring eyes. Surrounding the upper bands of color are glyphs, which resemble a bird, perhaps an aquatic bird. The beak is long and narrow, which would allow it to be a great fish hunter. The birds have been sensitively painted with an elegance of a single line. The tripod base is painted with jaguar claws, perhaps in remembrance of witnessing the jaguar's deadly blow of one sweeping paw against its victim. During ritual, this globular vessel may have been set before a shaman or nobility who possessed these powerful qualities of the jaguar and aquatic bird. We are drawn again and again through this skillful composition, compelled to pleasantly remember the revealing moments of our own powerful nature. - (PF.3148)


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