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Pre-Columbian Diquis Feline Vessel

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Pre-Columbian Diquis Feline Vessel

- Item No.

Item Details

  • Height:
    4 1/2 Inches
  • Diameter:
    5 1/2 Inches
  • Period:
  • Origin:
    Not Applicable
Diquis pre-historic pottery is notable for its petite and compact design and the use of fish, bird, animal and unusual human figures as decoration.  Diquis ceramic artists excelled in combining traditional jar forms with those of animals. This small globular jar is supported by four appendages modeled to represent the feet of a feline.  Two other appendages represent a head and a tail. The feline represented would have been either a puma, jaguar, or margay leopard, all indigenous to this region. Effigy vessels, such as this one, were almost certainly used as ceremonial vessels for ritual and this one communicates the importance of this particular feline in Diquis cosmology.

The Diquís culture arose in the territory of what is now Costa Rica, along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea and in the inland mountains and valleys. The word diquís means "Great Waters" or "Great River" in the Boruca language, and the delta of the great Diquís River is a major feature of the region's geography. A unified Native American culture appears to have flourished in this area of Central America from approximately 1200 BC until the16th century.  Artifacts from this region include gold objects and other metals, carved bone, shell and whale ivory, textiles, jewelry with semi-precious stones and pottery. The art from this region was collected at excavated sites and much of the items show no signs of use for food or drink.  Scholars suggest that these items were created specifically as art items for much the same reason we sculpt or paint today. The number and quality of items in each site would indicate the wealth and status of the owner.  Because of this, the quality of the items are pristine and surfaces, such as this one, were polished with river rocks to best show their abstracted designs.

Circa 700-1530 AD

4 1/2" high x 5 1/2" diameter

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Price: $4,450
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