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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Jaguar Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel - PF.3643
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 17" (43.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta


Location: United States
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Description
This magnificent jaguar stands on his hind legs and roars across the centuries to attract our attention. The vessel appears so animated that one expects it to move at any time. The actual body of the vessel is a basic jar shape common to tripods of this region. What makes this vessel unique is the way in which the creature’s forelegs have been appliquéd to the body, and the addition of the wonderfully modeled head. The jaguar is portrayed with bulging incised eyes, and a wide-open roar that exposes his fiercely pointed teeth. The whiskers, ears and brows are incised, as is the entire body, which is decorated by spots to represent the fur. The vessel terminates on three hollow rattle legs, the two front legs representing the beast’s hind legs, and the third leg at the rear is his tail. The obvious respect and revere that is afforded to this beast shines through in the modeling. The stance also suggests parallels with the representation of a deity or a totemic symbol. - (PF.3643)

 

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