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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Archive : Veraguas Gold Avian Pendant Featuring a Monkey Standing on the Bird's Head
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Veraguas Gold Avian Pendant Featuring a Monkey Standing on the Bird's Head - FJ.6425
Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area
Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 3.5" (8.9cm) high x 3.25" (8.3cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold

Additional Information: sold iv

Location: United States
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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. - (FJ.6425)


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