Pre-Columbian / Atlantic Watershed Basalt Metate in the Form of a Jaguar - PF.2740 Origin: Eastern Coast of Costa Rica Circa: 100
AD Dimensions:3.25" (8.3cm) high x 4.75" (12.1cm) wide x 10" (25.4cm) depth Collection: Pre-Columbian Medium: Basalt
The metate was originally used as a means of transforming maize into flour for human consumption. However, it was also used in religious rituals as a primary mortuary symbol, which promised rebirth and new life. This jaguar metate may have been buried in the tomb of a prominent person as a tool of transformation in the human life cycle. The precisely carved head of the jaguar confronts us as he gives light to the darkness in the underworld. The jaguar represented the night sun in the underworld and was often used in religious rituals symbolizing power. Geometric designs surround the border of the metate and continue on the face and tail of the jaguar. One wonders with whom this metate was buried. Was he a chieftain or a strong leader of great men?