Male effigy cache figure

A.D. 1100–1550

Place of Origin: Cundinamarca and Boyacá Departments, Colombia


6.9 x 2.8 cm (2 11/16 x 1 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gold and copper alloy

Not On View




Ritual objects

Standing male effigy tunjo holds a sinuous object, perhaps a serpent, across his chest. Multiple strands of what may indicate hair emerge from under his skull cap on his proper right side and extend down to his shoulder (missing from the left side but remains of which indicate these strands originally were present on the left side). He wears a necklace composed of three strands, each with a bell-like pendant.


Collected by Joaquin Arciniégas, Colombia, by March 1, 1906 (to San José, Costa Rica by May 23, 1908; to San Salvador, El Salvador by June 19, 1916); sold to Doctor Daniel Villatoro Rugama, San Salvador, El Salvador, August 6, 1929; sold to Oliverio Girondo, Paris, January 10, 1930 (to Argentina probably after 1946); with Leon Buki, Buenos Aires, Argentina by January 2, 1975; with Alphonse Jax, New York, by February 1975; to Landon T. Clay, Boston; to MFA, March 12, 1975, gift.

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay