Nicoya Ceremonial Stone Seat in Shape of a Jaguar Published in Arizona Museum. Costa Rica, 500-1000 AD (PRICE ON REQUEST)

Nicoya Ceremonial stone seat in shape of a Jaguar, Published in the Arizona Museum Costa Rica, 1000 AD Book included

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Product Description

Nicoya Ceremonial Basalt Stone Seat in Shape of a Jaguar. Published in the Arizona Museum.

This large and finely carved example of Costa Rican skill and craftsmanship is in the form of a jaguar which may have been a lineage or clan symbol – as also was the crocodile – according to 16th-century Spanish conquistadors. There are so many features that make this masterpiece so unique. The most realistic depiction is the face with its head captured in a pose that is threatening and fierce.

Sculptors in ancient Central America developed elaborate metate forms that were associated with high status and wealth. They were commonly placed within graves of prominent individuals. Certain ancient rituals must have incorporated this activity and required special metates to be created for this purpose. It may have also served as a throne for the ruler, for whom the assurance of the fertility of his land and people would have been paramount.

Even today, stone metates in the Americas are used to grind maize and other foodstuffs in this volcanic stone. It is not entirely impossible that metates of this quality may have served in food related ceremonial circumstance during life, but the fact that it is very uncommon to unearth a metate together with a mano (the tool used to grind foodstuffs on a metate’s plate) has discouraged such an idea.

It is an incredible feat as an artist to render a work of art that is completely one-of-a-kind. Nevertheless, such a piece is valuable because of its rich history and what it can tell us of that past, where rituals, and other important functions that were the ways of life back then.

Book included

Additional information


1000 AD


Costa Rica


39.5 × 15.5 × 9.5 in