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Human Head Vessel

500-800
5 7/8 x 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (14.9 x 19.1 x 19.1 cm)

Unknown, Greater Nicoya
Costa Rican

Object Type: Ceramics
Medium and Support: Clay, pigment
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1969.89
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

The effigy vessel seen here takes the form of a human head and may refer to the practice of ritual decapitation. This bowl was made by the coil method and represents an early example of tri-color, highly polished vessels that flourished in the region of Costa Rica for over one thousand years. The painted decoration shares similarities with both the Maya ceramic tradition to the north and the Nasca effigy bowls to the south. The similarity in aesthetic approaches across cultures is the result of an active trading network which ran throughout the Americas.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

Provenance
Dr. and Mrs. Henry Buxbaum, Canandaigua, NY; purchased from them by the Gallery in 1969

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