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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Weapons : Guanacaste-Nicoya Jade Mace Head in the Form of a Bird
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Jade Mace Head in the Form of a Bird - PF.2671
Origin: Western Costa Rica
Circa: 1 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 7.25" (18.4cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Jade

Location: UAE
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The characteristics of incredible strength and incomparable beauty are combined in the rich, green mineral called jade. Because of these admirable traits, the Ancient Costa Ricans believed that this extraordinary stone was filled with power and magic. Artists therefore sculpted this unique stone, creating magnificent works of art, whose function gaze dramatic substance to Ancient Costa Rican myth and its symbolic language. Here we experience that remarkable creativity in the form of a ceremonial mace head, sculpted in the form of a stylized bird. Probably functioning as a ceremonial badge of power or the emblem of a particular clan, this spirited mace head was originally mounted on a wooden staff and carried by its owner. The potent avian image symbolizes the particular owner or clan's laudable, avian qualities, that is, the ability to see what is both in the air and on the land. To the Ancient Costa Ricans, the bird was a highly revered animal, its dual home of sky and land an enviable characteristic. Impacting us with its dynamic presence, this ancient symbol continues to strike at the senses, reminding us not only of the power and splendor of nature but of man's ability to give it expression. - (PF.2671)


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