This is an effigy vessel, so named because it combines the body of an animal — in this case, a jaguar — with a vessel. It’s from the Nicoya region along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Like this example, they typically had bands of ornamentation showing silhouetted feline motifs, coiling serpent designs and stylized patterns, along with a realistic jutting head and limbs in a human like pose. They’re usually found with funerary sites and associated with the Mexican warrior god Tezcatlipoca, a powerful and agile fighter who was as fast as a jaguar and devoured the sun to bring the night.
We bought this replica when we were in Costa Rica.