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Creator Nationality: North American; Central American; Costa Rican
Creator Name-CRT: Southern Costa Rica, (Diquís Region), Diquís Style
Title: Double Bird-Man Pendant with Monkey Heads
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1000
Creation End Date: 1500
Creation Date: c. 1000-1500
Object Type: Costume and Jewelry
Classification Term: Metalwork
Materials and Techniques: cast and hammered gold
Dimensions: Overall: 7.15cm x 9.4cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1951.442
Credit Line: Thirty-fifth anniversary gift in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Humphreys, Gift of their daughter, Helen
Style or Period: Southern Costa Rica, (Diquís Region), Diquís Style
Context: In the centuries before the Spanish conquest, competition between chiefs for land and resources was keen. Predatory animals were natural symbols of a successful warrior's ferocity. This pendant portrays a large raptor, perhaps a harpy eagle, who has snatched a monkey from the trees, and now carries its head. Supernatural powers are suggested by the doubling of the bird's head and body, and the reptilian profiles that emanate from the heads. That the mythical creature symbolizes human aggression is evident in the form of the body (birds have no external genitals), and the trophy head theme. Human warriors are often portrayed holding trophy heads, which symbolized fruits or seeds, and thus agricultural abundance.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1951.442
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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