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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Weapons : Guanacaste-Nicoya Jade Mace Head in the Form of a Jaguar Head
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Jade Mace Head in the Form of a Jaguar Head - PF.2453
Origin: Western Costa Rica
Circa: 1 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 2.25" (5.7cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Jade

Location: United States
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Because of its exquisite beauty and extraordinary strength, jade assumed both mystical and powerful qualities in Ancient Costa Rican culture. Crafted by expert artists, this medium was used for the creation of dynamic works of art-- objects that gave substance to myth and its ancient symbolic language. Here we see a dramatic mace head, carved in the stylized image of a jaguar. Functioning as a ceremonial badge of office or of a clan affiliation, this powerful mace head would have been mounted on a wooden pole and carried by its owner, the dramatic image of the highly revered jaguar symbolizing the owner's similar qualities--those of power, strength and virility. To the Ancient Costa Ricans the jaguar was the hunter, warrior, clansman, symbol of power; equivalent to eagles in the sky and crocodiles in the water. Fortunately, those ancient characteristics that infused this brilliant work of art with its vibrant energy and symbolic power so long ago are still in evidence today, commanding our deep respect and admiration. - (PF.2453)


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