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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Miscellaneous : Tripod Vessel With Anthropomorphic Heads
Tripod Vessel With Anthropomorphic Heads - PF.3018
Origin: Costa Rica (Atlantic Watershed)
Circa: 1 AD to 500 AD

Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Every Sunday, there is a page of comics in your local newspaper. Some of the caricatures are quite humorous because they emphasize or distort certain properties of humans or animals that are not real, but can be easily imagined. Comics touch everyone a little differently depending on our past situations and experiences in life. The artist who created this tripod vessel over a thousand years ago is not that different from the artists who create comics today. The artist has taken a human or animal figure and has emphasized the mouth of the figure and dilated the eyes. By the shape of the vessel, the deduction can be made that it was used to hold a libation. The geometrical design on the surface of the three heads is a common motif used by the ancient inhabitants of Costa Rica to symbolize the earth and fertility. Depending on our perceptions and life experiences, the figures may be quite humorous or perhaps shocking and grotesque. How these comical figures on this vessel touched its ancient Costa Rican owner, we can only contemplate. We can only know that this object communicated a precise message to its owner just as it communicates a precise message to us. How it touches us is a unique experience to all. - (PF.3018)


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