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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Musical Instruments : Sculptural Whistle of a Standing Woman
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Sculptural Whistle of a Standing Woman - PF.2168
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 800 AD to 1200 AD
Dimensions: 5.625" (14.3cm) high x 3.75" (9.5cm) wide
Catalogue: V7
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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Costa Rica is in many ways a crossroads; major biological, climatological and geological frontiers all pass through it, creating a natural cornucopia of flora and fauna. Not surprisingly, it also forms part of the frontier between two major cultural traditions--the Mesoamerican and the tropical rain forests on Northern South America. The quality and variety of ritual objects created by Costa Rica's Pre-Columbian cultures reflect a unique artistry, a direct result of being situated at this strategic position. Distilled northern and southern artistic influences have combined with local traditions, resulting in creative works of art such as this terracotta female effigy whistle. A most expressive and novel face stares out at us, her bulging eyes, large nose and gaping mouth displaying a highly sculptural quality. Thin arms with fingers delineated by incising, wrap around the front of her stocky body, focusing our gaze upon her female attributes, while short legs position her firmly on the ground. If held upside down, with our chin place over her genitalia, when we blow outwards, a soothing tone is produced, akin to blowing air across a bottle too. We can only guess at the ancient ritual function of this most unforgettable female. However, her instrinsic spirit will forever emanate forth, capturing us in its magical spell. - (PF.2168)


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