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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Terracotta Sculpture of a Peccary
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Terracotta Sculpture of a Peccary - PF.4206
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 300 BC to 500 AD
Dimensions: 10.5" (26.7cm) high
Catalogue: V22
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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Absolutely voluptuous and robust in shape and form, this sculpture of a peccary is an exceptional example of the accurate and symbolic rendering of animals depicted in ancient Costa Rican art. For animals not only made up part of their diet, but also formed part of the mythological and religious beliefs of the natives. This peccary may represent either of the two pugnacious hog like ungulates that roam Central and South America. Here, its sharp fangs and ferocious expression have emphasized its pugnacious quality. The beauty of the swelling body is undaunted by this fierce expression. Aggressive by nature, this quality would have been symbolic for warriors and chieftains to possess. This sculpture is not simply an accurate "representation of nature", but the outward sign of a complex world of symbolism with its own system of beliefs that are no longer accessible to us. The trail of ornate designs running down the back of the peccary may have important mythological significance. This magnificent sculpture was not only indicative of the power and social status of an individual; it may have been used as a symbol of the supernatural realms from which this power was thought to have originated. - (PF.4206)


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