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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Masks : Costa Rican Jade Mask
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Costa Rican Jade Mask - PF.3180
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 100 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 2.5" (6.4cm) high x 2.125" (5.4cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Jade

Location: United States
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This mask touches and exhilarates centers of life beyond our present reality. It serves as a means of transforming the ordinary to the extraordinary, the natural to the supernatural. The mask has always been used as a ritual agent of transformation in Meso-America. The ritual wearer of this mask, the shaman, not only represented the God; he was the God. He manifested the life force. Through that ritual transformation joining the worlds of spirit and nature, man and god fused in the zone of mysterious transition marked by the mask itself. This mask is the seat of the soul, where the outer and inner worlds meet. We are left to ponder over the mysteries of the Universe hidden behind this mask, and the awakened insights it has brought to our own inner spirits. Skillful carving and drilling techniques distinguish this light green jade pendant. It depicts an abstract face with a headdress. The carving is controlled and precise. The "beak" or nose of the face is most probably rich with mythological significance that is symbolic of a bird. The eyes have traces of a stone, which was inlaid into the face creating a lively mask. Worn on the chest of a shaman or chieftain-shaman, this pendant aroused awe of the person who wore it and remains an intriguing work of art today. - (PF.3180)


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