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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Basalt Jaguar Metates : Guanacaste-Nicoya Basalt Jaguar Effigy Metate
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Basalt Jaguar Effigy Metate - PF.4273
Origin: Guanacaste-Nicoya Zone, Costa Rica
Circa: 300 AD to 700 AD
Dimensions: 13" (33.0cm) high x 12.875" (32.7cm) wide x 29.5" (74.9cm) depth
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt

Location: United States
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The elegantly curved, rimless plate of this gorgeous metate immediately identifies it as coming from the Guanacaste-Nicoya zone. Its graceful form is equaled by the refined latticework on the neck and head of the jaguar. Though highly abstract, the character of the animal is remarkably vivid, as he stares with his wide expressive eyes. Each of the legs is carved with an intricate design on the outside containing three vertical extensions; like small, serpentine columns. The jaguar's neck is very cleverly composed of two triangles joined by a segmented horizontal bar. The overall effect is an astonishing combination of lightness and solidity, of delicacy and strength. We can only marvel at the skill required to carve such an object from hard basalt using only primitive tools. No wonder the Ancient Costa Ricans considered such metates suitable only for the noble classes. - (PF.4273)


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