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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Jaguar Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Double-Headed Jaguar with a Bowl on its Back
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Double-Headed Jaguar with a Bowl on its Back - PF.3398
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1000 AD to 1450 AD
Dimensions: 7.5" (19.1cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This extraordinary ceramic bowl is imbued with a power and spirit that is truly remarkable. The sculptural qualities are emphasized through the geometric and curvilinear motifs. The two animals on either side of the vessel are in the image of a feline animal, most probably a jaguar. The narrow mouth is open and smiles at us, while the pointed ears stand attentively. The beautiful curvilinear patterning surrounds the figures and bowl entirely. We can assume this vessel played an important part in Ancient rituals during which man tried to penetrate into the mystery of the other world through transformation. This is because the clay balls in the legs turn this vessel into a rattle. An offering may have been placed in the bowl the animals hold on their backs, raising it up to the gods. This striking masterpiece of Costa Rican art communicates powerfully with the modern world, while at the same time transmits the refined artistic life of the Ancient Costa Rican in all its fascinating detail. - (PF.3398)


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