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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Terracotta Trophy Heads : Guanacaste-Nicoya Blackware Trophy Head
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Blackware Trophy Head - PF.3585
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 300 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 6.5" (16.5cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This effigy vessel dramatically depicts a human head. The sculptural rendition of the face is stunning, with meticulously incised patterns and marks accentuating the facial features. The facial expression generates a sense of serenity and charm; the small eyes are gentle, the nose delicate, and the small mouth appear timid. The incision lines indicating facial scarification accentuate each feature, while complementing the overall decoration of the vessel. The band around the top and bottom sections of the vessel depicts geometric patterns, specifically stylized rendition of sections of the sun, establishing the importance and significance of this effigy vessel. So lovingly and skillfully sculpted, the vessel perhaps was used in special ritual or ceremonial occasions. Perhaps the vessel is a funerary sculpture representing the deceased. Or perhaps it was created to honor a priest or a chieftain in a ritual. Because of the esoteric tribal culture of Ancient Costa Rican people, most of such details are unknown. We as modern viewers, however, can still appreciate the great artistic craftsmanship and dedicatory beliefs this vessel represents. - (PF.3585)


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