A sharply hooked nose and double earspools
suggests the Jalaca type of avian pendant,'
closely related to the Veraguas style. The head
appears like a mask, with a double banded strap
under the chin spiraling around the beaded eyes.
A charming monkey, holding onto a circular
braided 'rope,' sits on the bird's head, from
which extend identical crocodile heads. The
bird's body is bulbous, with small clawed feet
protruding. Dramatic wings tightly curve into
two points on either side, while the large fanning
tail has a horizontal base. More than one kind of
bird may be represented in avian pendants. In
this example, the wings appear as an abstract
depiction of the way soaring birds spread their
wings in the sun to dry after a rain. Both birds
and monkeys are frequently found in Costa Rican
gold art; the latter being a creature greatly
admired for its ability to walk on land, float on
water and fly through the air--powers the
ancient shamans were reputed to possess.