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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Terracota Female Effigy Vessel
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Terracota Female Effigy Vessel - PF.3758
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 1000 BC to 500 AD
Dimensions: 17" (43.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The woman, the vessel for procreation was a very important part of ancient life. Due to her capabilities to perform such a miracle as carrying and bearing a child, many vessels and works of art emulate the female. This piece is no different. As if in a birthing position, she squats and bares her teeth, showing pain due to labor. The vessel itself may have contained a liquid that was thought to promote fertility or sexual appetite, such as an aphrodisiac. Her nudity allows us to see the beautiful body decoration and attention to detail using a black paint on a red slip. To create balance, she is placed on a flared pedestal, exposing her prominent genitalia. It is clear that fertility and the female body played a large part in the everyday life of the ancient world, due to the precision and care that was taken in creating such vessels, and we in turn, must respect such marked beauty and craftsmanship. - (PF.3758)


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