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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Diquis Gold Pendant of a Shaman Dressed in a Saurian Costume
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Diquis Gold Pendant of a Shaman Dressed in a Saurian Costume - FJ.6356
Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area
Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 5" (12.7cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold


Additional Information: 135 Grams/heather/2

Location: Great Britain
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Description
This spectacular pendant allows us a glimpse into the ritual practices of the ancient Costa Ricans. The man-animal motif is common among Diquis gold objects, and shows a male figure wearing a crocodile mask. He is in ritual costume comprising a breastplate, woven belt, elaborate headdress, and trapezoidal feet which may be a type stlt. Attached to his elbows and knees are identical geometric objects like highly stylized alligator heads. These are similar to the two extensions which the man is holding onto with both hands. His mask is very powerful and richly detailed, with its filigreed eyes and sharp row of teeth. His genitalia is in the shape of a snake, a symbol of fertility, and may be a penis sheath. This man is probably a shaman/chief 'performing' in a ritual ceremony, and may represent exactly how such a person would have appeared. The dramatic presence of this figure is no less amazing than the beauty of the pendant, and both combine to form a work of art with historical and artistic importance. - (FJ.6356)

 

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