Jaguar effigy pottery vessel

Guanacaste-Nicoya culture
Period VI

Object Place: southwestern Nicaragua/northwestern Costa Rica, Guanacaste-Nicoya region


Overall: 34.3 x 29 x 26 cm (13 1/2 x 11 7/16 x 10 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware with black and orange on cream slip paint

Not On View





Human-feline effigy jar portraying the transformed animal spirit form of a shamanic practitioner. Elements of the pose and body painting on the limbs recall figural portrayals of female shamans typical of the Nicoya-Guanacaste ceramic art tradition.


Before 1945, given to a European diplomat by Maria Mercedes de Medina, daughter of the ambassador from Nicaragua during World War II; private collections in Europe; May 12, 2005, sold at Sothebys New York, lot 241, to Lands Beyond Gallery, New York; sold by Lands Beyond Gallery to Hy Zaret; 2008, gift of Shirley Zaret to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift from the Collection of Shirley and Hy Zaret