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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Basalt Jaguar Metates : Basalt Metate in the Form of a Double-Headed Jaguar
Basalt Metate in the Form of a Double-Headed Jaguar - CK.0529
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 10" (25.4cm) high x 13" (33.0cm) wide x 30" (76.2cm) depth
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt

Location: United States
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The metates found in tombs suggest the beginning of differentiated levels of society, as wealthy individuals demanded beautiful objects to 'journey' with them into the afterlife. Though metates have a functional purpose as a tool for grinding corn, they also served as a visual symbol of elite control of food production and processing. This handsome metate is a variation on the classic jaguar motif, with a second head protruding from the hind in place of the traditional tail. The edges of the square table are decorated with a triangular pattern while the legs are embellished with a similar pattern of interweaving lines, creating diamond shapes. Since the jaguar was regarded as something of a mythical beast, the representation of it would have thought to communicate power to the object. It's perfect symmetry and balance is certainly a powerful force, and a testimony to a superb sculptor's dedication and talent. - (CK.0529)


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