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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Stone Trophy Heads : Stone Trophy Head with Jaguar-Face Headdress
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Stone Trophy Head with Jaguar-Face Headdress - PF.2890
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 100 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 4.5" (11.4cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Stone

Location: United States
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This head, though similar in size and shape, to Costa Rican trophy heads (which were sacrificed to the gods to ensure prosperity and stability), exhibits many characteristics that make it a highly unique example. The features of the face are monkey-like, an example of the technique used by ancient artisans to express the unity of man and his environment. The jaguar face atop the head similarly implies the powers of nature over man's existence. Both members of the nobility and warriors often claimed connection to the jaguar God in order to vicariously enjoy the strength and courage that the animal possessed. Where at most such heads were made of volcanic stone, this piece is made out of a quartz-like material, further adding to its importance. This head was evidently designed to embody spiritual concepts beyond the focus of typical trophy heads. - (PF.2890)


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