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Shaman Figure (Sukia)

ca. 800-1525
4 1/4 x 2 x 4 in. (10.8 x 5.1 x 10.2 cm)

Unknown, Atlantic Watershed
Costa Rican

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Volcanic stone
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Henry Buxbaum
Accession Number: 1969.56
Location: Currently on view
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This seated shaman figure is a standard type that was produced in great quantities in central Costa Rica. Carved from volcanic stone these figures were included in burials, and perhaps made initially for domestic use.

Hallucinogenic drugs, derived from native plants and animals, played a large role in this culture. Shown deep in a trance, the shaman here is most likely either inhaling or expelling a narcotic. He wears no earthly clothing or jewelry and there is no visible body modification, as he is both of this world and the world beyond.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

Provenance
Dr. and Mrs. Henry Buxbaum, Canandaigua, NY; their gift to the Gallery in 1969

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