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Artist/Maker: Greater Nicoya (Costa Rica)

Date: ca. 1-500
Medium: pottery and slip paint
Overall: 3 3/4 x 9 in. (9.5 x 22.9 cm)
Classification: Containers
Credit Line: Gift of Seymour Rosenberg
Object number: 72.016.020
DescriptionAlthough the term Intermediate Zone has been criticized for an under appreciation of the innovation present in Costa Rican ceramics, it does capture the geographical reality that ideas traveled south from the stratified state societies of Central Mexico. In this vibrant bowl, painted in red, black, and cream-colored slip, can be seen a style of depiction that owes much to the ceramic traditions of Oaxaca and the Valley of Mexico. Two humans and two supernatural entities are shown inside cartouches in a very symmetrical arrangement. A masterwork such as this bowl was most likely used by a chief to impress his peers at the competitive feasts that characterized political interactions of ancient Costa Rica.
Not on view