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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Archive : Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel - PF.3456
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1200 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high
Catalogue: V18
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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This vessel is a typical example of Nicoya Polychrome. It is appropriate to find an effigy vessel of a jaguar, displaying how the Costa Rican people worshipped this animal for its power and beauty. A perfect example of the strength of color use is seen on the head of the jaguar. The colors accentuate the most important aspects of the jaguar such as the big eyes, sharp teeth, and powerful muscles. Within the mouth of the jaguar there is a clay ball, transforming this vessel into a rattle most probably used in ritualistic ceremonies. The mouth of the jaguar exemplifies the power of the animal because, the jaguar shows us his sharp teeth, and at the same time gives us a jovial grin. Around the head of the jaguar, there is a necklace, or crown to show the might of this creature. Around the jaguar's head there is also a very vibrant pattern of smaller jaguar heads. These patterns are seen around the extremities .as well, suggesting the symbolic importance of the revered jaguar. The most admired animal is present twice, once as a three dimensional head and the second time covering most of the body. The symbolism and strength of this work of art is felt through the vibrant colors, sharp lines, and patterning of the jaguar heads. - (PF.3456)


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