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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Guanacaste-Nicoya Vessel in the Form of a Saurian Deity
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Vessel in the Form of a Saurian Deity - PH.0260
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 200 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 24.5" (62.2cm) high x 14.5" (36.8cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Guanacaste

Location: United States
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Costa Ricans have been interested in half- human/half-animal figures for hundreds of years. Artists used their inventive skills to create images that seem to occupy two separate realms of reality at once; subtly and cleverly playing with established imagery in an attempt to express something profound to themselves and the community in which they lived. For example, the face of this object is zoomorphic with a definite alligator motif, yet still quite human in its posture and flexed arm, along with its depiction of fingers and toes. This animal/human hybrid is also shown with a hat on, which reveals its importance as a Saurian Deity. Additionally, elaborate details on the object including the inscribed design throughout the body and the addition of the snake and alligator on the figure's shoulder reveal its high quality. It is possible that a piece like this would have been created for wealthy or important individuals in the community, offering us a glimpse into their lives. - (PH.0260)


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