Tripod effigy vessel, large, with the head of a jaguar in high relief. Two legs, finished at the base of the neck with rigid ring handles formed of the jaguar's front legs, represent the hind legs and are pierced and contain pellets. The third support, in the form of a flattened tail, emerges from the back of the vessel. The jaguar head, an oblong, bib-like area below, the legs, and a wide band at the throat, are painted in polychrome with geometric designs on an orange ground. High polish.

Vessel, c. 1100 - 1200 CE

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Jaguar effigy jars are a classic form of ancient Costa Rican art. Shaped into the representation of a sun-devouring feline god, the vessel is covered with colorful painted designs that refer not only to the jaguar, but also to celestial elements such as the sun and stars. The legs of these jars were usually hollow, with clay balls inserted to make them rattle.

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Tripod Vessel in the Shape of Jaguar (#267)
Details
Title
Vessel
Role
Artist
Accession Number
46.3.6
Curator Approved

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Tripod effigy vessel, large, with the head of a jaguar in high relief. Two legs, finished at the base of the neck with rigid ring handles formed of the jaguar's front legs, represent the hind legs and are pierced and contain pellets. The third support, in the form of a flattened tail, emerges from the back of the vessel. The jaguar head, an oblong, bib-like area below, the legs, and a wide band at the throat, are painted in polychrome with geometric designs on an orange ground. High polish.