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Jaguar effigy metate

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This carved metate, or ceremonial seat, is an excellent example of a rare sculptural style from northwestern Costa Rica or sourthern Nicaragua characterized by delicate, open-work carving and finely incised details. In the 16th century, the Spanish observed similar objects being used as...

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Private collection by 1968; May 16, 2008, sold at Sotheby's, New York, sale N08444, lot 3, to MFA.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Jeremy and Hanne Grantham and Timothy Phillips

Guanacaste-Nicoya style, Late Period IV, A.D. 300–700

Object Place

Northwestern region, Costa Rica


Overall: 84.46 cm (33 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique





Tools & equipment, Household