Basalt Statue of a Warrior

SKU PF.4597
Circa

500 AD to 1000 AD

Dimensions

19.75″ (50.2cm) high

Medium

Basalt

Origin

Costa Rica

Gallery Location

S Korea


 

The extraordinary stone statues of Costa Rica are some of the most powerful and unique works of art in the world. Apart from being fine sculptures they are complex symbols with many layers of meaning, pertinent to the society in which they were created and exciting to us as modern viewers. They represent a cycle of life, combining warfare, fertility and overt sexuality in one monumental form. As dramatic proof of his warrior prowess he holds two shrunken trophy heads taken from sacrificial victims. His noble status in society is shown by the beautiful scarification on his arms, legs and stomach, fashioned into intricate patterns. His heavy and detailed waistband serves to highlight his exposed genitals. He is nearly naked in order to show off his manliness and invulnerability in the face of danger. As a “sex symbol” he is the archetype male who protects both the women and the land, making each fertile through insemination and ritual. With simple tools and a simple concept the sculptor has created a figure rich in mores and traditions, in a style that is immediate and immensely attractive. With his flowing hair and undaunted stance he is like a Samson figure, standing boldly against all threats, forever stalwart and brave, a champion against whom neither mortal enemy nor the ravages of time can conquer.

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