This is a RARE AND UNUSUAL associated set of THREE stone effigy war axe heads from ancient Pre-Columbian Central America. They would have been carried as a prestige weapon by a warrior of noble class or high rank. Each war axe is of a reduced size for rapid striking attacks similar to the reduced size of a tomahawk.
This is a true MUSEUM-CLASS set of ancient weapons. The execution of the forms and renderings are superb with three unusual animals represented in this set - a fawn, a rooster and a frog. They were acquired from a collection formed in the 1950's and most likely, were originally found together in a single cache. Each one is made from a unique type of hardstone, further adding to the individual personalities of each different animal example. They are in the finest complete form "as made". Deeply impacted sediment and mineral patina can be seen in microscopic examination - a testament to their authenticity. The artistic skill that was needed to form each of these would have been only from a master stone carver artisan.
The Greater Nicoya Pre-Columbian Culture is an archaeological culture that prevailed in the area of Latin America comprising the far southwestern coastal region of Honduras, the far northwestern Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica and the Pacific side of coastal Nicaragua. This indigenous Indian culture thrived for many centuries before the first Spanish explorers made contact around 1500 A.D.. The people had no written language but spoke Nahuatl and had continual contact with the Aztec (Mexica) Indians of Central Mexico. The Gran Nicoya culture included many beautiful designs incorporating a variety of different mammals, reptiles and amphibians in effigy pieces. Their pottery is also known for complex glyph-like painted decorations. In the first 500 to 600 years A.D., resources became low as populations grew and warfare become increasingly evident. Tribes in this region practiced head-hunting and victim sacrifice in their warfare.