Title: Tripod Effigy Jar
Date: ca. 1250 – 1500
Culture: Greater Nicoya (Costa Rica/ Nicaragua)
Material: Painted Earthenware
Size: 12.5” x 8” Diam.
Credit: Gift of Quintus H. and Mary H. Herron
On View: Yes
Unlike the Mayans (Mexico) or the Gran Coclé (Panama), little is known about the prehistoric cultures of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. However, we do know they were exceptionally talented artisans just like many of their neighbors.
The area is home to a distinctive type of pottery characterized by polychrome painted designs on a buff colored slip. These vessels usually feature some sort of effigy. The figure on this jar is meant to be an ocelot. The head is molded onto the shoulder of the jar and the legs of the jar are spotted, just like an ocelot.