DIQUIS – Costa Rica
800 – 1500 A.D.

Height           : 56    cm
Width           : 19.8 cm
Depth           : 13.5 cm
Ancient European collection since 1966.


Anthropozoomorphic sculpture representing a man-jaguar standing on a cone-shaped base.

The head is round, whereas the jaw is angular and the felinized facial features are geometric. The large rectangular mouth is open and shows all the teeth and fangs. It spits a long snake with two reversed heads out. These stylized snake’s heads are viewed from the side, with the nose turned up. The wide and flat jaguar’s muzzle is drawn with three incisions. These incisions go up to mark the arches of the eyebrows and surround the engraved, hemmed and almond-shaped eyes. The large ears are sculpted. The top of the head is decorated with an engraved line, suggesting a skullcap. The head rests on a broad neck. The shoulders are strong and angular, whereas the trunk is thin. The arms, separated from the bust by a space, fall down along the body and the hands are placed on the hips. The elbow folds, as well as the fingers, are engraved. The wrists are attired with bracelets. The sex is visible. The legs, slightly apart, are strong and straight and the knees are in relief. The feet are marked by cuts, evoking the jaguar’s claws. The man-jaguar clings onto a cone-shaped base.

On the back of the sculpture, the spine is engraved.

The Diquis culture develops between 800 and 1500 A.D. in southern Costa Rica. Its artistic production is characterized by stone sculptures representing anthropo- or zoomorphic figures, or monumental spheres. This standing figure, with the semi-round and geometric treatment of the limbs that are never freed from the body, is a beautiful example of the perfect mastery by the artists from the Diquis culture. It is particularly interesting for the anthropozoomorphic look of the man-jaguar, which is highlighted by the presence of the two-headed snake.