Jaguar Effigy Vessel
Arts of the Americas
On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
The representation of the jaguar as a fearsome and powerful predator reaches its pinnacle in this pear-shaped, highly decorated jar. The blood-stained open mouth, pronounced incisors, and crouching stance convey that this is an intimidating species to be respected. The black-and-white patterned areas, made up of stylized jaguar heads, imitate the animal’s spotted coat, and the anthropomorphic pose, with hands on knees, is standard in Costa Rican depictions of shamans, who have the power to transform themselves into animals and move between the natural and supernatural realms.
13 3/8 x 10 13/16 in. (34 x 27.5 cm) (show scale)
A. Augustus Healy Fund
Large pear-shaped tripod jar with modeled jaguar features. Two legs and a tail form the tripod supports, and the upper section has an elaborately modeled jaguar head framed by two arms with hands resting on the legs. Practically the entire vessel is covered with painted designs in red, white and black referred to as Pataky Polychrome, Period VI.
Condition: good; some of the surface decoration is abraded.
Greater Nicoya. Jaguar Effigy Vessel, 1000-1350 CE. Ceramic, pigment, 13 3/8 x 10 13/16 in. (34 x 27.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, 48.140.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 48.140.2_view1_acetate_bw.jpg)
overall, 48.140.2_view1_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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