Museum Collections - Intermediate Area - Artifact #3

Ceramic Jaguar - Intermediate Area

WHO: Cultures of the Nicoya peninsula

WHERE: North Pacific coast, Costa Rica

WHEN: Middle/ Late Polychrome Period, A.D. 800-1500

WHAT: This is an unusual vessel in its orange colour and linear markings but it unmistakably portrays a jaguar. Jaguars are able to hunt on the ground, from the trees and in the water. They are therefore creatures which connect all three cosmological levels and as such are very powerful characters in early Central American belief systems. The jaguar was a potent symbol for many different cultures throughout the tropical latitudes of the ancient Americas.
Height: 24.5 cm

HOW: Coil-built and hand-modelled; polychrome slip decoration.

MUSEUM: Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. G83.1.146

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