Seated Meditating Male Shaman Figure

11008527-1991_004_215_Gpa_ARC.tif

Title

Seated Meditating Male Shaman Figure

Keywords

Sculpture

Date

1000 - 1520 AD

Context

Period VI
Central America, Atlantic Watershed, Costa Rica

Medium/Dimensions

Medium-grained basalt
9 x 6 x 6 3/4 in. (22.9 x 15.2 x 17.1 cm)

Object Number

1991.004.215

Description

In ancient Costa Rica shamans are also often depicted seated in a meditative pose. The prominent vertebrae of this shaman's back indicate either advanced age, associated with the power to defeat death (the average lifespan was short), or emaciation due to fasting, a method for achieving visions, or both. The drawn-up legs, chin on hands, and far-away look in his eyes all suggest he is in a state of trance, his body forgotten in his shamanic journeying. In fact, during visions the sense of having a body is lost, and perhaps this may help explain why so many ancient American objects enlarge the head and diminish the body, as here.

Credit Line

Ex coll. William C. and Carol W. Thibadeau

Exhibits/Publications

MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, September 2002 - June 2012|
'For I am the Black Jaguar': Shamanic Visionary Experience in Ancient American Art, Michael C. Carlos Museum, September 5, 2012 - January 5, 2013|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, February 9, 2013 - Present
Rebecca Stone-Miller, Seeing With New Eyes: Highlights of the Michael C. Carlos Museum Collection of Art of the Ancient Americas (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2002), 140, figure 307.|
MCCM Newsletter, Fall/Winter 2012.|
Rebecca Stone, The Jaguar Within: Shamanic Trance in Ancient Central and South American Art (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011), 75, figure 4.4.

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Michael McKelvey.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View

Yes

Citation

“Seated Meditating Male Shaman Figure,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed April 19, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7560.

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