The warrior seen here and carved in volcanic stone holds a human head with both hands, likely indicating warfare, a ritual sacrifice, or perhaps both. The figure is also notable through the carved representation of a belt, or tanga, two leg bands (likely a battling ornament), and possibly a stylized helmet. Finally, the warrior stands upon a pedestal base that may have been intended to affix the erect figure more permanently to the ground.
The archaeological division of Costa Rica falls into three style regions: the Guanacaste–Nicoya (northwest), the Central Highlands–Atlantic Watershed (east), and the Diquis (southwest). In addition to fostering an intrinsic relationship between agricultural and religious iconography, the rivalry for control of resources among ancient Costa Rican traditions is also thought to have caused these traditions to place great value on military power and warrior symbols. This is especially apparent in the sculptural figures uncovered in the Diquis region.
[Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, NY];
The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, 2003-2010;
Gift to The Vilcek Foundation, 2010;