Shaman Figure (Sukia)
4 1/4 x 2 x 4 in. (10.8 x 5.1 x 10.2 cm)
Unknown, Atlantic Watershed
Medium and Support:
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Henry Buxbaum
Location: Currently on view
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]