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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Saurian Deities : Guanacaste-Nicoya Sculpture of a Standing Saurian Deity
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Sculpture of a Standing Saurian Deity - PF.3257
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 1000 th Century AD to 1350 th Century AD
Dimensions: 12" (30.5cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta
Condition: Repaired

Location: Great Britain
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This is a spectacular sculpture depicting the ritual agent of transformation in Meso-America. The mask serves as a means of transforming the ordinary to the extraordinary, the natural to the supernatural. The ritual wearer of this alligator mask, the shaman, not only represented the alligator deity; he was the alligator deity. He manifested the forces associated with the alligator. The alligator may have been symbolic of fertility and power. Through the ritual transformation joining the worlds of spirit and nature, man and god fused in the zone of mysterious transition marked by the mask itself. The shaman sits with his hands at his chest and bracelets around his wrists. Anklets encircle his lower legs and ear spools reveal his noble status. The mask has an ornamental crown at the top with two interesting projections on each side of his head. There is a rattle inside of the alligator's mouth, which may have been shaken during rituals to summon the god. We are left to ponder over the hidden secrets within this impressive sculpture, and the awakened insights it has brought to our own inner spirits. - (PF.3257)


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