Jar with Reptile Heads
5 15/16 x 11 x 7 1/2 in. (15.1 x 28 x 19 cm)
Unknown, Atlantic Watershed
Medium and Support:
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Location: Currently on view
This pot originates from the mountainous region of central Costa Rica. Painted with black-slip, the vessel was then decorated with incised marks made after firing.
The two lizard heads serve both as handles and as a visual metaphor for the concept of dualism. This deeply-rooted artistic convention often depicts objects in pairs to represent the fundamental complexities of life and death. A central component of many societies in the Ancient Americas, symbolic dualism seeks to balance the opposing manifestations of male and female, left and right, light and dark, and night and day.
[Gallery label text, 2009]