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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Saurian Deities : Vessel in the Form of a Saurian Deity
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Vessel in the Form of a Saurian Deity - PF.4397
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 800 AD
Dimensions: 23.25" (59.1cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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It is rare to discover an object that perplexes and excites at the same time. This fantastic vessel is just such a work of art. In the Costa Rican culture it was common to depict Shamans in animal form; in this case a crocodile. The zoomorphic attributes are obvious in the bulbous belly and the extraordinary snout. Yet, the human aspects are also cleverly depicted. One hand rests on the midriff, the other on the left breast. Each hand, carved in relief, is wonderfully contrasted with the incised arms. Then, there is the tiny penis. However serious the artist's intent, he must have found this amusing. On the upper portion are two howling monkeys who appear to be swinging on the lip as if it were a branch. Three splendid feet carved in the form of animal heads give stability to this magician as he confronts the dark forces. Intended to aid spirits in the afterlife, this splendid and unique object will add distinction anywhere. - (PF.4397)


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