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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Stone Trophy Heads : Greenstone Trophy Head
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Greenstone Trophy Head - PF.3063
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 15.5" (39.4cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Greenstone

Location: United States
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This unusual stone head from Costa Rica not only captures our eyes but also raises endless questions about Ancient Costa Rican culture. The stone sculpture depicts a man's head encased in a jaguar's wide-open mouth. The man's face holds a solemn expression with its closed eyes and tightly closed mouth. Large, bold incision lines define powerful features of the sculpture, such as the jaguar's large eyes, teeth, and fangs. Carved on a hard green stone, this wonderful work of art achieves a perfect symmetry and serene beauty, and interpretation of this magnificent sculpture can vary. Shown with jaguar's head, perhaps it is a sculpture of a man of highest rank and honor, possibly that of a chieftain. In Ancient Meso-America, the jaguar was considered as one of the most powerful gods. Perhaps it is a man of high rank wearing a jaguar's mask. Or maybe it is a jaguar devouring a human to portray jaguar God's absolute power over humans. Or such sculpture could be an artistic, symbolic rendering of ritual and sacrificial to appease gods that ruled Ancient Costa Rica. The large eyes of the jaguar are powerful, certainly capturing the regal essence. The esoteric nature of this magnificent sculpture seems to pull our eyes and minds into its mysterious beauty and history. - (PF.3063)


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