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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Avian Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Turkey Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Turkey Effigy Vessel - PF.3565
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1200 AD to 1400 AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Guanacaste-Nicoya
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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During period VI, there was an increased production of white-slipped polychrome vessels in the northern part of the greater Nicoya sub area. The cream-slipped pottery was called Jicote polychrome. Although Jicote painting on vessel has more matt quality than other styles, its designs are often bold and striking. This fascinating effigy vessel has the pear shape, which was popular in period vi, with an annular base. The band around the neck contains decorative geometric patterns and zoomorphic figures, which appear to be stylized depiction of serpents. Thin black contour lines define the patterns and figures that are painted with orange-brown color. Moreover, it has an appliqué head of a bird, possibly that of a harpy eagle, which enhance the vessel. Intricately sculpted and boldly painted, the bird's face is expressive--its large eyes are wide-open, and the sharp beak is defined with black lines. The face and the chest areas are painted with warm orange color, and the body of the vessel also depicts a stylized representation of feathers. Being a mythical creature and a revered animal for its strength and nobility among birds, harpy eagle was a divine symbol often used by ancient Costa Ricans. Decorated with such a special creature, this effigy vessel must have embodied a particular significance. As we contemplate this beautiful vessel, we appreciate the great ancient culture and its expressive, artistic creation. - (PF.3565)


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