This large, monumental stone head with a stoic
face carries a strong ambience and weight.
Although the head is depicted with simple
incision lines, one cannot escape its poignant
sense of presence, its aura of monumental scale.
Estranged from the body, the stone head's large,
stoic eyes and mouth create an esoteric mystery.
The skillful artist of this stone head not only
successfully handled the large size of the head
but he also paid attention to beautiful details
that make the sculpture complete. The artist
encircled the head with patterned headband and
gave the sculpture stylized coiling pattern ears.
Also, the asymmetrical hair beautifully offsets
otherwise perfect symmetry of the well-polished
sculpture. Because Costa Rica was a tribal
culture, significance of its art is largely unknown.
The mystery of this large stone head, then, is up
to the viewers to decipher. Perhaps such
beautiful sculpture had a funerary ritual
significance, meant to represent or portray the
deceased. Or perhaps such stone head is a
symbol of human sacrificial ritual, which was a
common practice in the Ancient Costa Rica.
During this period, people took trophy heads in
battles for human sacrifice because they believed
that such practice was necessary to maintain the
agricultural fertility. Mesoamericans believed in
their humble position and their duty to offer the
best for god's mercy. If this was the case, this
marvelous stone head must represent a head of a
man of great importance and power.