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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Diquis Gold Pendant of a Shaman Wearing a Double-Headed Saurian Mask
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Diquis Gold Pendant of a Shaman Wearing a Double-Headed Saurian Mask - FJ.6244
Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area
Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 4" (10.2cm) high x 3.75" (9.5cm) wide
Catalogue: V23
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold


Additional Information: 133.5 Grams/heather/2

Location: Great Britain
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Description
This fantastic and powerful pendant is classic Diquis style. The dramatic pose of the figure, the slightly curved upper band, symmetrical balance, and design of the snake heads are characteristic of the inventive Diquis goldsmiths. What we are seeing here is a shamanic figure with two heads in the form of either a jaguar or crocodile. The highly stylized heads may represent masks worn by shamans (sorcerers) during ritual ceremonies. The double heads suggest the principal of duality, (good and evil forces), characteristic of shamanic belief. However, the snake image is crucial to the understanding of the pendant's significance as a ritual object. The figure holds a snake in each hand, and his penis is cleverly shaped like a snake's head. This is an overt symbol of sexuality, as the serpent was directly associated with the male member and used to represent fertility. This pendant may have been worn by a shaman who specialized in matters related to procreation. The artistry and inventive flair is as powerful as the pendant's symbolism, and both these elements merge with the brilliant gold to form a work of art of outstanding beauty. - (FJ.6244)

 

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