Effigies : Nicoya Effigy Vessel
This effigy vessel originates from the Pre-Columbian Nicoya culture of Mesoamerica. It was most likely used by a person of status in life or buried with them to follow them into the afterlife. Dated to roughly 300-500 AD, the piece is part of an artistic shift from the Formative period to the Early Polychrome period in Nicoya pottery. During this time, the monochrome slips and few colors popular in the Formative period became integrated the artistic ideas of Mexican and South American cultures. The Early Polychrome period saw the introduction additional, darker colors and more patterning. The glaze of the effigy bottle here, although highly worn after having been buried for centuries, still diplays the remnants of dark banding on each side of the mother figure in a wave like pattern. This patterned glaze, most likely created by a single brush, is typical of the black-on-red glaze style common in Nicoya pottery around 300 AD.