San Agustin Tomb Guardian

San Agustin Tomb Guardian


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Mon, 05/23/2022 – 10:10

This being, with ferocious fangs and bulging eyes, once stood guard at the entrance to a megalithic tomb in southern Colombia at a site known as San Agustín. More than four hundred stone sculptures remain at San Agustín; most are far larger than this one, measuring up to seven meters tall. Their sculpting, transportation, and final placement was an enormous feat of engineering. The majority of sculptures from San Agustín are hybrid beings, suggesting a fluidity between human and animal beings. Psychoactive plants such as yopo were a part of these transformational practices, indicated here by the dilated pupils of this statue. 
These tombs and their guardians may have been honors bestowed on those who managed the relationship with supernatural forces on behalf of the entire community—a high-status role that does not seem to have come with material privileges, at least not in this life.

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