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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Stone Trophy Heads : Basalt Trophy Head
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Basalt Trophy Head - PF.3251
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 12.5" (31.8cm) high x 9" (22.9cm) wide x 11" (27.9cm) depth
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt

Location: United States
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This spectacular sculpture of a head captures our eyes with its unique subject and composition. The large stone trophy head dramatically presents itself with simple geometric lines, which form large facial features such as rectangular eyes and cheekbones. He wears a decorated headdress. In Ancient Costa Rica, warriors took trophy heads from battles. The prized trophy heads were used in sacrificial ceremonies and rituals to please the god, who had absolute control over humans and nature. Such trophy heads were from individuals of high rank and prestige because only the best people were chosen for the rituals. Thus, rather than sculpting generic faces, Costa Rican artists sculpted these heads after specific individuals. Considering the large size, strong physical features, and facial scarification, this trophy head most likely depicts an important individual-- perhaps a tribal leader or a warrior himself. With such rich significance, the magnificent basalt head emanates strong physical and spiritual energy. - (PF.3251)


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