Guanacaste-Nicoya Jade Female Figure-Celt Pendant - PF.3160
Origin: Western Costa Rica
Circa: 100 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 5.875" (14.9cm) high x 1.875" (4.8cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Guanacaste-Nicoya
Medium: Jade


This is a magnificent representation of an obviously symbolic, high-status female of the Ancient Costa Ricans. Skillful carving and drilling techniques distinguish this lustrous deep green pendant. It depicts a human figure portrayed as an axe-goddess. This is a celt like polished blade that symbolically represents a functional polished celt that was used as a forest-clearing tool, which is associated with agriculture. The figure is in a formal, rather stiff pose, seen from the waist up. The hands meet at the belly and the face is serene, almost severe or mask like. It is a ritual pose, perhaps of a priestess. This suggests use in a ritual context. The figure's cap is incised with a bird, an "ally" of the skies with rich mythological significance. Below the bird, there is a decorative band between two solid bands. The owner of this beautiful object was obviously important, both politically and religiously. There are drilled holes for suspension for this pendant to be worn. Although the precise meaning of this superb lapidary work of art is as yet unclear, the fine artistry of the Ancient Costa Ricans clearly represents a highly sophisticated and flourishing culture. A culture whose art appeases our thirst for beauty and innovation and lingers in our minds and hearts with awe and wonder. - (PF.3160)



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