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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Galo Polychrome Seated Female Effigy Vessel
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Galo Polychrome Seated Female Effigy Vessel - PF.3355
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 th Century AD
Dimensions: 10.25" (26.0cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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This seated female figure effigy vessel comes from the Guanacaste-Nicoya polychrome tradition, the Galo polychrome style. Its mirror- bright burnished surfaces are technically unsurpassed by any Pre-Columbian pottery, and yellows, reds, oranges, creams, maroons, and blacks of the polychrome decorations are impressively vivid. Among such sculptures are the full human figures with elaborate representations of tattoos or body paint. Such brilliant polychrome tradition represents an import ant social dimension; when the northern trade network that brought jade, slate backed pyrite mirrors, foreign ceramics, and other luxury goods, the Nicoyans responded by producing their own special purpose pottery. Inspired by northern models, it also incorporated local and southern elements, forming a dazzling hybrid style that was traded around Central America and southern Meso-America in the centuries to come. Elaborately decorated with colors and patterns, this sculpted female sits proudly, like a dignified noble woman. A fine example of Galo polychrome figures, she provides a wealth of ethnographic detail because of the realistic style. Her ear spools and geometric body painting or tattooing are all vividly shown. Her almond- shaped eyes outlined with black paint, her lips colored with light orange, and her cheeks enhanced with elaborate crosses, her charming face has an unforgettable charisma. The same cross shapes adorning her breasts creates the visual continuity from the face to the body. Both of her hands resting on her torso and geometric patterns decorating the center of her chest, she looks as if she is holding something important within her with her face held up straight, this woman appears regal and goddess-like, demanding our attention with her physical presence. - (PF.3355)


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