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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Basalt Sculptures : Basalt Funerary Mask with Jaguar Ears
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Basalt Funerary Mask with Jaguar Ears - PF.3237
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 10.5" (26.7cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt

Location: Great Britain
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This unique basalt mask is sculpted in a bold, geometric manner and its dramatic presentation captures our eyes in an instant. Sculpted in the scale to fit a person's face, the mask has openings for the eyes and the mouth. The circular, highly stylized eyes and mouth reveal an intense expression that is characteristic of Costa Rican stone sculptures. And in addition to wearing a flat headdress incised in geometric patterns, the mask is also decorated with two small jaguar figures on both sides of the face. Sculpted with such significant attributes, this mask becomes an artistic and historical clue to the ancient world. In Costa Rica, jaguars were considered as a powerful god and their images were often used to represent royalty, priests, and warriors. This marvelous mask carved with the image of jaguars, then, most likely is a sculptural rendition of a significant individual, which was used in special rituals and ceremonies. Sculpted in a bold manner, the mask itself embodies cultural history and practice of Costa Rica. It brings a part of the ancient culture to the modern day and we undoubtedly appreciate beauty that would last throughout the ages to come. - (PF.3237)


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