Some of the indigenous animals of Colombia are
beautifully represented in Sinu jewelry. The
goldsmiths delighted in depicting the fauna of the
lowlands and swamps with considerable realism.
It is interesting to note that the aggressive traits
of animals were not emphasized. Rather, their
showy aspects are given predominance, as seen
in this very lovely bird on top of a ceremonial
staff. The chiefs and shamans of Pre-Columbian
times loved pomp and ceremony, and there is
nothing that better illustrates both than the staff.
It is symbol of prestige, honor and power.
Basically a simple object intended to impress and
awe, this knob does just that by its excellent and
superb artistry. The handsome bird has abstract
qualities blended with realistic details. Its wings
are neatly folded on the back, segmented with
two side-by-side series of holes and incised
along the ridge to give the impression of feathers.
The tail is essentially a triangle composed of
three triangles inside, which balances perfectly
with the gorgeous crest. It is as if the bird is
dressed for a special occasion, with double
banded ankle bracelets around each leg. The
base itself has 'windows' on each side
segmented by four diagonal and two vertical
bands, each in a different configuration. The
overall effect is an object that is both splendid
and subtle, rich and delicate; full of character, wit
and charm that shines as brilliantly as the gold.