Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Archive : Pre-Columbian Art / Gold Pectoral of a Shaman Wearing a Bird Mask
Click to view original image.
Pre-Columbian Art / Gold Pectoral of a Shaman Wearing a Bird Mask - FJ.6204
Origin: Cauca, Colombia
Circa: 1150 AD to 1600 AD
Dimensions: 6.25" (15.9cm) high x 4.25" (10.8cm) wide
Catalogue: V25
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold

Additional Information: sold 198 grams

Location: United States
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
In a journal written by Vargas Machuca he tells about encountering gold items owned by priests, including large breastplates of very fine gold on which were engraved with many idols of different shapes. The Spanish were awestruck by the quantity of gold the priests and nobility of Colombia possessed. However, they were only interested in the raw worth of the metal. To the indigenous people gold had great religious significance, especially when fashioned into symbolic objects. Only then did the metal acquire meaning and a value beyond its intrinsic worth. The beauty of this pectoral is quite staggering. A noble figure stands on a slim base which curves around in the shape of a crescentic blade. He has definite human attributes such as very delicate hands and feet, legs bending at the knee, with his penis protruding from under his belt. The bird face may in fact be a mask. This supposition is further strengthened by the wonderful headdress he wears, and his pleated attire complete with appliques and two jaguars attached to the arms. It is possible we are seeing a shaman in full regalia involved in a ceremony: perhaps related to fertility. On the central portion of his headdress are insignias which may explain the nature of the ritual. The flamboyant headdress fans out like wings of a mythical bird, with triangular shapes imitating feathers. With his legs slightly bent and arms tight against his chest, he seems about to spring into another dimension. The brilliant gold serves to enhance the impression something very magical is going on; beyond our ability to comprehend, yet not beyond our ability to be utterly dazzled. - (FJ.6204)


Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2022 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting