Human effigy - ROM2019_17478_1


Human effigy

Medium:Incised brown ware
Geography: Costa Rica
Date: 1000 BC-500 AD
9 × 8 × 7.5 cm
Object number: 2018.11.1
Credit Line: Gift of Philip and Marian Brady
Not on view

Rendered in the Zoned Biochrome style, this human effigy vessel combines a red slip with the natural buff or brown of the fired clay. Smaller vessels such as these may have held hallucinogenic substances for shaman rituals or medicines/herbs for more general uses. The two holes at the side of its head could be for the owner to hang the bowl upright, preventing its contents from falling out. Though the figure likely has spiritual significance, the vessel also captures an aspect of daily life in the Pre-Columbian era.

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