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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Tripod Effigy Vessel
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Tripod Effigy Vessel - PF.4257
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 1 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 20.5" (52.1cm) high
Catalogue: V22
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Chocolate was a valued and prized luxury only afforded by kings, priest and the nobility of the Ancient Americas. Not only was it a delicacy of the upper class but it was a highly sought after commodity of trade that possessed equal value to rare meats and spices, precious gems and even gold. It held great importance in ritual ceremonies and also functioned as a beverage to commemorate important events and holidays. This sculpture is an excellent representation of a vessel with the specific function of safeguarding this sacred drink. It is adorned with three condors that are each grasping a serpent. Birds are commonly associated with the upper world, while the serpents are symbolic of the underworld; these to symbols in conjunction with chocolate, which is a representation of the middle world, form a cohesive union unique only to the most important ceremonial figures of Ancient Costa Rica. - (PF.4257)


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