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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Archive : Diquis Gold Pendant of a Shaman
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Diquis Gold Pendant of a Shaman - FJ.6210
Origin: Costa Rica/Panama
Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 2" (5.1cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold


Additional Information: sold iv

Location: United States
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Description
The shaman of ancient Costa Rica was someone who might perform many different roles- healer, magician, herbalist, political leader and artist. Being all things at once or only one at a time, some shamans possessed extraordinary knowledge mixed with a degree of psychic power. Others were strictly con artists who deceived the people through cleverness. When genuine, a shaman could engender great respect and was a crucial part of society; thus accounting for their being immortalized in gold.

This pendant shows the shaman in a style characteristic of the Diquis region- a firm and solid stance, feet in a trapezoidal shape, naked except for a thin waist band with his genitals exposed. His expression is determined and strong; in fact he may be wearing a type of mask with a headdress of large bells. These serve as rattles and would have jangled when worn. The bands are composed of curved ribbed bands which match the ankle bracelets, adding further design and texture. This pendant can be seen as an ornament and a piece of jewelry. But it is also a testimony to the goldsmith’s art, and a tribute to certain shamans of the distant, past, who must have been powerful indeed if they embodied the power of such a pendant.
- (FJ.6210)

 

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