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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Diquis Gold Pendant of a Shaman Wearing a Jaguar Mask
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Diquis Gold Pendant of a Shaman Wearing a Jaguar Mask - FJ.6357
Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area
Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 2.75" (7.0cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Diquis
Medium: Gold


Additional Information: 89 grams/heather/f

Location: Great Britain
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Description
It is debatable which is more striking in the Diquis pendants-- the artistry, the iconography, or the gold! Certainly, all three elements blend with such perfection that such an object as this superb pendant can be considered a rare and beautiful work of art. The meaning of the image of a male wearing a jaguar mask is probably related to a ritual context. He is naked except for the belt around his waist and the straps encircling his knees and ankles. It is known that only members of the nobility were permitted to ge without clothes. This man's elite status is also indicated by the jaguar and monkey imagery, since both animals were symbols of two clans from which chiefs were chosen. His 'pigeon- chest' suggests he is also a shaman or sercerer. It is very likely we are witnessing a shaman/chief involved in an elaborate ritual ceremony. The stylized elements seen in the flat arms and coils for hands and feet add a dramatic quality, and do not take away from the realism. This extraordinary pendant is both a symbol of power, and a graceful expression of a goldsmith's magnificent artistry. - (FJ.6357)

 

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