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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Monkey Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Monkey Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Monkey Effigy Vessel - PF.3530
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1200 AD to 1400 AD
Dimensions: 8.5" (21.6cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Guanacaste-Nicoya
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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During period VI, there was an increased production of white-slipped polychrome vessels in the northern part of the greater Nicoya sub- area. The cream-slipped pottery was called Jicote polychrome. Although Jicote painting on vessels has more matt quality than other styles, its designs are often bold and striking. This fascinating effigy vessel has the pear shape, which was popular in period VI, with round tripod supports. The band around the neck contains decorative, geometric patterns. Thin black contour lines define the geometric shapes painted with orange-brown color. Moreover, it has an applique monkey, which seem to be holding onto the vessel. Intricately sculpted and boldly painted, the monkey's face is quite expressive. Its round eyes are wide open, and the protruding mouth is modeled so well that one can almost hear the unique cry of the monkey. Black painted patterns decorate the monkey's face and its body is painted with orange-brown and black in rectangular sections. Being a mythical creature and a revered animal for its intelligence, the monkey was a symbol often used by ancient Costa Ricans. Decorated with such a special creature, this effigy vessel must have embodied a particular significance. As we contemplate this beautiful vessel, we appreciate the great ancient culture and its expressive, artistic creation. - (PF.3530)


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