Bat-shaman effigy pendant

Chiriquí or Diquís
A.D. 700–1550


Object Place: Panama or Costa Rica, Chiriquí or Diquís regions

Dimensions

6.5 x 3.1 cm (2 9/16 x 1 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

22.302

Medium or Technique

Gold

On View

Ancient South America Gallery (Gallery LG33)

Collections

Americas, Jewelry

Classifications

Pendants

Cast gold pendant representing a bat-headed male shaman holding a spherical rattle in his right hand. The left arm missing, likely having broken from the figure in ancient times. His elongated bat-like mouth is typical of the pendant tradition of the Chiriquí-Diquís region. A large ring behind the figure’s right ear allows for suspension on a cord. A second ring originally may have been present behind the proper left ear, although this area now is well-smoothed.

Provenance

With Walter Channing Wyman, Chicago(?), by 1922; to MFA, February 1922, purchased as part of a group of 67 pieces for $5,000.

Credit Line

Maria Wharton Wales Fund