To the Costa Ricans, human head effigy vessels
represented a prisoner of war or a sacrificial
victim. These vessels are known as trophy heads.
The artist's craftsmanship captures the realistic
nature of this piece. The artist took considerable
time to depict the exact likeness of this victim.
The face is very distinguished and rendered. The
eyes are almond shaped and there are
indentations around the eye giving it the
appearance that they are bulging. The most
extraordinary characteristic of this object d'art is
its lack of tribal markings and patterns.
Therefore, one assumes that this person was a
foreigner. The vessel is decorated on a solid
black slip with features that are highly
pronounced. The nose is aquiline and the nostrils
are flaring out. The mouth is partially opened
and the lips are in a pouting expression as if this
person is gasping for air. The effect depicts
surprise on his face. The forehead is carved with
raised lines that frame the face and serve as his
hair. His headdress is very unique in its design.
It is perched upon his head in an upward style.
This haunting work of art is a reminder of the
days long past. However, its energy and
symbolism still pervades our world today.