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Jaguar effigy vessel

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Pottery vessel portraying a human-jaguar transformation, the imagery based on the belief in animal spirit companions and a shaman's ability to enter the spiritual realm in this transformed state. The painted horizontal bands may represent the jaguar's markings and stars in the nighttime sky. ...

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Collection of Paul A. Clifford and William C. Thibadeau by 1972; purchased by the High Museum, Atlanta, 1972, and deaccessioned in 1998; sold Sotheby's, June 2, 1999, lot 48; to private collection; with Sotheby's, by October 2004; to MFA, February 2005, purchase.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Leigh B. and Steve Braude

Guanacaste-Nicoya culture, Period VI, A.D. 1000–1350

Object Place

Guanacaste-Nicoya region, Southwestern area, Nicaragua


Overall: H: 29.2 cm (11 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware with red and black on white slip paint