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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Saurian Deities : Sculpture of a Standing Saurian Deity Holding Rattles
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Sculpture of a Standing Saurian Deity Holding Rattles - PF.3800
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 200 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 15" (38.1cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The proliferation of vessels and sculptures of human beings wearing crocodile masks defiantly points to a wide spread crocodile cult in early Costa Rican history. The humans behind the masks were shaman/priests who exercised political control as theocratic rulers. The power, both temporal and spiritual, of such a person is wonderfully represented in this remarkable sculpture. The torso and arms are in lovely red slip covered in very delicate incised patterns. The lower middle portion turns up slightly, like a tortoise's shell, to reveal the genitals. Legs and head are comprised of thick appliqu├ęs in the form of circles, horizontal bars and solid pellets, giving the impression of a crocodile's scales. In each hand he holds a different object, perhaps rattles used in ritual ceremonies. It is extraordinary to see how the artist has managed to capture the drama and pageantry of an important individual who has left no written record, but remains forever in a beautiful work of art boldly confronting the world. - (PF.3800)


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