The Research

Curated by Patricia Fernández Esquivel

December, 2011 – October, 2013

Felines in Costa Rican Archaeology: Past and Present, showcased 50 stone, gold and ceramic objects representing felines dating from 300 BC until 1500 AD.

Research included the invaluable contributions of biologists and field experts Eduardo Carrillo, from the National University of Costa Rica, and Gustavo Gutiérrez, from the University of Costa Rica, who collaborated in the identification of different species of felines in archaeological materials. The Panthera organization, dedicated to feline conservancy, as well as the Nectandra Institute, who works toward the conservation of the Cloud Forest, also participated.

The Exhibition

This exhibit began with an explanation of the origins of felines and these species’ current threat of extinction. Different objects were exhibited throughout the tour, identified according to the species of felines found in Costa Rican territory.

Various styles and techniques used to represent felines in different regions and periods were displayed, highlighting the most stylized and realistic ones, as well as representations that combine felines with features of other animals or the human figure.

The exhibit also broached the subject of myths featuring felines, as well as their value as symbols not only in the past but also in the present.