Museum Collections - Intermediate Area - Artifact #7

Tripod Vessel - Intermediate Area

WHO: Cultures of the Nicoya peninsula

WHERE: North Pacific coast, Costa Rica

WHEN: Late Polychrome Period, A.D. 1200-1500

WHAT: This vessel is representative of a Late Polychrome style of striking black and-red-on-white pottery called Pataky. This elaborate tripod vessel in particular may have been a libation bowl used to serve or present offerings in a tomb. Its intricate, lacy black-on-white panels repeat stylized jaguar motifs; the best-known vessels of this type are pear-shaped containers with modelled jaguar heads and legs. The jaguar replaces the alligator and the bat in Nicoya pottery as the key animal figure in what are probably spiritual or symbolic contexts. The vessel also incorporates rattles into the tripod legs.
Height: 36 cm

HOW: Coil-built and hand-modelled; painted with black slip.

MUSEUM: Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. G83.1.148


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