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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Monkey Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Monkey Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Monkey Effigy Vessel - PF.4239
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 600 AD to 1500 AD
Dimensions: 14.25" (36.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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This vessel is a wonderful piece of artistry. The tripod legs are very round and sturdy lacking any signs of tribal design other than a solid orange base coat. The monkey's body is in the shape of a robust gourd. The head protrudes from the vessel and the face is highly realistic. The monkey's jaw is jutting forward and the mouth is shaped in a round cylinder fashion. This probably signifies speech. The eyes are set back within the face and they are alert and alive. There are circular patterns on the head depicting the monkey's coat. The arms are raised off the vessel and the hands rest upon the belly. The long neck of the vessel is covered in many significant tribal designs and geometric patterns. The most prominent designs are two faces on the sides of the vessel that represent other stylized animal images. They are sinister in appearance and act as a scarecrow to those who want to intrude on the contents of the vessel. The tail protrudes from the back of the vessel and wraps around the side. The Costa Ricans used the flora and fauna of their environment as the subject matter for the art they produced. The images of certain animals symbolized different powers. The monkey is a humorous and intelligent animal always offering entertainment and perhaps their food. This zoomorphic effigy vessel of a monkey most probably contained food that the monkey was the protector for. - (PF.4239)


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