1000 - 1530 CE
3 1/16 x 3 1/4 x 13/16 in. (7.8 x 8.3 x 2 cm)
Unknown, Veraguas-Gran Chiriqui
Medium and Support:
R.T. Miller Fund
Location: Currently on view
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]