Panama / Curly-Tailed Animal Pendant / 4th?5th centuryPanama
Curly-Tailed Animal Pendant
4th?5th century

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Creator Nationality: North American; Central American; Panamanian
Creator Name-CRT: Panama
Title: Curly-Tailed Animal Pendant
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 300
Creation End Date: 499
Creation Date: 4th?5th century
Creation Place: Panama
Object Type: Costume and Jewelry
Materials and Techniques: gold
Dimensions: H. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Description: Gold ornaments in Central America date back to the mid-first millennium A.D., and some of these early gold pieces were made in the same shapes as jade objects. This small pendant is such a piece. The type has been named "curly-tailed animal" by archaeologists, and while details of the animal head differ from object to object?some have birdlike crests, others have long animal snouts or smooth, round heads?the prominent tail curled up over the back is remarkably consistent in both gold and stone objects. This consistency across media signals the beginning of a significant change in Central America, when the use of jade for important personal ornaments gives way to gold . The introduction of goldworking technology from Colombia to the south may have coincided with the depletion of jade sources in Costa Rica, or gold came to be adopted so firmly as the high-status material of choice that jade and its sources were eventually forgotten.
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 91.1.1166
Credit Line: Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
Style or Period: Initial style
AMICA ID: MMA_.91.1.1166
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

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