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zapatera sculptures

Characteristics of the Statues

Sculpture of Zapatera island
Sculpture founded on Zapatera
Now is part of the collection
of San Francisco museum

The sculptures are representations of human figures often crossed with an animal, the most common being jaguars, crocodiles and eagles. They are carved out of large blocks stone, the figure poised on a cubic base that emphasizes their aspects as monoments the most likely depicting, chief, gods and shamans.

Several nicaraguan researchers, including jesuit priest, have studied the sculptures that make up the present collection. The sculptures were in the central america school of Granada and then they were moved to their present location old San fransisco convent where they were left exposed to the element, the man-animal features suffering further erosion.

The pieces are effigies of chorotega indigenous warriors, the inhabitants of Zapatera centuries ago: the eagle, moctezuma. A statues of a crouching figure represent the gods Tlaloc.

The Nicarguan historian says they represent deities of life and death. The associaton of human and animal figures is a concept called alter-ego or the other me. This relationship is traditionally interpreted as a person having a guardian spirit. They would be political or religious chiefs.

This kind of statuary is found elsewhere in central and south America. When the head of the individual is in the jaws of the animal, it is central america origin and when the animal appears on the individual's back is from south america.


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