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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Tlaloc Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Tlaloc Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Tlaloc Effigy Vessel - PF.3463
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1200 AD to 1500 AD
Dimensions: 12" (30.5cm) high
Catalogue: V16
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The artist of this work has created a masterpiece, colors and forms to produce a work of art that has significance in the Costa Rican culture. The mirror-bright burnished surfaces are technically unsurpassed by any Pre- Columbian pottery, and deep tones of oranges, reds, creams, and blacks on this polychrome decoration seem impressively vivid. This human figure is embellished with tattoos and body painting. At first glance these patterns appear as flowers, but after careful examination, we see the true jaguar forms, a suggestion of power and authority. Elaborately decorated with colors and patterns, this sculpted work of art is seated in a position of authority, on a jaguar-covered throne to suggest stability. Once again, we find ourselves recognizing this figure as a special person in his community, through the wearing of a flat headdress. His crescent-shaped eyes outlined with black paint, his lips shining with orange coloring, and his cheeks made up with patterns all show the strong charisma of this face. His mouth is open, expressing surprise and delight. The legs contain clay balls, producing a rattle-like sound as we shake this object. Thus, this must have been used on ceremonial occasions for the worship of this man. This vessel is a dazzling polychrome representation of a leader in this community. - (PF.3463)


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