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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Animal Sculptures : Atlantic Watershed Sculpture of a Jaguar
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Atlantic Watershed Sculpture of a Jaguar - PF.2500
Origin: Eastern Coast of Costa Rica
Circa: 1000 AD to 1500 AD
Dimensions: 7.875" (20.0cm) high x 16.375" (41.6cm) wide
Catalogue: V8
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Stone

Location: United States
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Costa Rican stonework represents some of the finest craftsmanship in all of the Pre-Columbian Americas. Carved from a piece of volcanic stone, this jaguar presents a dynamic image, a stunning example of the artist's acute sensitivity to the natural world. In Ancient Costa Rican society the jaguar was regarded as the most powerful creature in the animal kingdom, to be honored and revered; it even had certain divine characteristics. In ancient mythology the most important God, Maira, was the sun during the day, making the journey from east to west across the land. At night, however, Maira assumed the form of a jaguar and stealthily made his way from the west back to the east, where in the morning he would once again rise in the form on the sun. Here, we see the Costa Rican artist's vivid portrayal of this respected beast, the animal's awesome strength revealed through the massive and bold rendering of his body. A feline face, complete with snarling fangs and staring eyes adds a potent dimension to the sculpture. Clearly, the commanding presence of this ancient stone sculpture has withstood the passage of time, exhibiting a cosmic force that is eternal in its ability to touch our inner senses. - (PF.2500)


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