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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Fertility Basalt Standing Female Figure
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Fertility Basalt Standing Female Figure - PF.3444
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 100 AD
Dimensions: 36" (91.4cm) high
Catalogue: V18
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt

Location: Great Britain
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This fertility Goddess is an extremely important acquisition, in that it shows a culture's ideals throughout the Pre-Columbian era. This culture revered the jaguar, an animal of power and prestige, which is reflected onto the statue of this fertility Goddess. Her physical features, and her headdress display the high regard this culture felt for women, thus producing a stone sculpture to worship the womanly goddess. The headdress she wears displays the love of jaguars, and symbolic ideals of the quality of power and prominence jaguars and women both hold. The headdress reflects an Old-World Egyptian headdress that gods and pharaohs wore; thus Pre-Columbian culture took the ancient ideal of power and lead us thousands of years later to make connections between power in Egypt and power in Central America. The figure keeps her eyes closed as a nondiscriminatory way of letting all women take part in worshipping her. The artist's choice to keep the figure's eyes closed is a remarkable decision that suggests symbolic thinking, because it implies that she does not need to see those that worship her, rather the importance lies in all that look upon her. Her figure is sculpted from carefully formed geometric shapes, which reflect the ideals in this society that the circle is a cycle of life and death that is eternal. The completeness of form shows a perfect ness in the woman, which is a perfect artistic choice in depicting fertility. The curvilinear woman shows society has a flow and rhythm to the nature surrounding it. The culture's ideals are reflected in this breathtaking statue. The headdress reflects past cultures and continues into the future to show symbolic power. The sculpted geometric forms show unity and a complete life. The power of this statue lies in the symmetrical composition the form, and in the everlasting ideals of this culture. - (PF.3444)


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