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Acquisitions from the R. T. Miller, Jr. Fund

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Vulture Pendant

1000 - 1530 CE
Precolumbian
3 1/16 x 3 1/4 x 13/16 in. (7.8 x 8.3 x 2 cm)

Unknown, Veraguas-Gran Chiriqui
Panamanian

Object Type: Jewelry
Medium and Support: Gold-copper alloy
Credit Line: R.T. Miller Fund
Accession Number: 1954.38
Location: Currently on view
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This vulture pendant displays the bird in standard attack mode: outstretched wings, fanned tail and sharp and deadly talons at the ready. Located under the large horned tufts atop the head are ear ornaments, jewelry usually reserved for nobility and shamans. Combining human with animal characteristics indicates this piece may represent a shaman in his vulture form. The shaman-vulture incarnation is made even more powerful by the diminutive jaguar shown clenched in the beak. The wearer would assert his dominance by wearing this pendant on his chest.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

Provenance
Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles (dealers); purchased from them by the Gallery in 1954

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