TYPE: Pendant
DIMENSIONS: Height: 6 ¾ inches
NOTES: Provenance: Robert & Carolyn Nelson Collection, Joan Barist Primitive Art, New York, NY.
ITEM ID: 4754
  • Artwork
  • Artwork

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Costa Rican Figural Pendant

Notes: c. 300-900 AD

Carved from a light green and beige stone. The anthropomorphic Axe God with hands meeting at abdomen, bird heads in profile at waist and two addorsed bird heads at crown. Very finely crafted with string saw perforations between legs and arms, conical drill holes through head from each temple, raised rough break line down back. In excellent condition. With custom metal base.

Pre-Columbian art refers to the visual arts of indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, North, Central, and South Americas until the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and the time period marked by Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas.

Pre-Columbian art thrived throughout the Americas from at least 13,000 BC to the European conquests, and continued for a time afterwards. Many Pre-Columbian cultures did not have writing systems, so visual art expressed cosmologies, world views, religion, and philosophy of these cultures, as well as serving as mnemonic devices.

During the period before and after European exploration and conquest of the Americas, indigenous native cultures produced a wide variety of visual arts, including painting on textiles, hides, rock and cave surfaces, bodies especially faces, ceramics, architectural features including interior murals, wood panels, and other available surfaces. For many of these cultures, the visual arts went beyond physical appearance and served as active extensions of their owners and indices of the divine.