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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Chocolate Pots : Armadillo Ritual Tripod Vessel
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Armadillo Ritual Tripod Vessel - PF.3129
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 1 AD to 500 AD

Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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From the depths of an Ancient burial, this vessel is brought to light from the mysterious distant past of Costa Rica. The cultures that once flourished in the past lived in a radically different environment than we do today. The people who created and held this vessel had direct contact with nature and animals every moment of their lives. A far cry from the environment which most of us have direct contact with day after day as the global trends of over-population and pollution soar to irreparable degrees. The armadillo is a nocturnal mammal, which inhabited the Ancient jungles of Costa Rica and is portrayed on the legs of this vessel. With the use of a serrated shell, the artist has cleverly created indentations, which naturalistically depict the armor like covering of jointed plates that distinguish the armadillo's body. The eyes peer up at us from underneath the ears and the short, blunt snout terminates with a slight curve to firmly support the vessel. The armadillo's legs are molded in a position of action. It is as if the armadillos could scurry off the vessel at any moment! There are slits vertically cut on the interior of each tripod leg and soot covers the bottom of the vessel which leads us to believe that ancient fires once glowed beneath this special vessel. Were sacred myths of the armadillo in relation to nature and the cosmos passed on from one generation to the next while the aromas of the magical contents filled the dark velvet evening sky? Were the contents shared from one mouth to the next thus creating a sense of unity amongst the people and their environment? Our imaginations are tantalized by the mysteries of the past and our aesthetic thirst for ingenuity is quenched by the magnificent form and beauty of this vessel. - (PF.3129)


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