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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Polychrome Standing Female
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Polychrome Standing Female - PF.4256
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 800 AD
Dimensions: 29" (73.7cm) high
Catalogue: V.22
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The largest and most impressive ceramic figurines of Pre-Hispanic Costa Rica fall into the Galo category. This extraordinary polychrome figure is one of the largest ceramic sculptures known from Costa Rica. With her arms akimbo and her legs solidly placed, she stands strong and erect like an indomitable goddess ready for any threat. As with others of her type she is covered in gorgeous body paint from head to toe. The overall patterns are basically symmetrical, with dominant broad horizontal bands extending from the waist down the center of her legs. Each is composed of separated black squares highlighted with white circles in the middle. This design continues on her face, running from chin to forehead on both sides. Red and black dots create a clever type of short "jacket". Her breasts are also painted with broad red lines augmented by circles in black. The effect of these patterns of red and black against a white background is very striking. Even the pubic cover or tanga is beautifully decorated. Both the elaborate body painting and large earspools are indicators of wealth and prestige. This woman may represent someone of great importance, perhaps a shaman or even a ruler, preparing for a ritual ceremony for which she will play a dominant role. The sheer power of this female is quite monumental. She embodies the ideal qualities of a woman in ancient times-- strength, fortitude, sexual attraction and an aura of mystery, combined in a figure of extraordinary elegance and beauty. - (PF.4256)


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