Shaman pendant

A.D. 1200–1550

Object Place: Panama, Azuero Peninsula


Overall: 2.3 x 2.3 cm (7/8 x 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Americas, Jewelry



Cast gold pendant representing a bat-human figure, likely based on the leaf-nosed bat given the thin up-curled snout. A double curled form, perhaps a fantastical bifurcated tongue or serpents, emerges from his mouth and is grasped by his hands at either side of his chest. A wide two-band element curls upward from his groin area. A wide ring attached to the back of the neck area allows for suspension on a cord.


Excavated in the Sitio Conte area, Coclé Province, Panama, after 1930; by 1950 in a Private Collection, San José, Costa Rica; to Paul Pasher, New York, between 1950 and 1955 and kept with Manuel Miranda Pinto, San Salvador, El Salvador; brought to the United States, April 1970 and sold to the Edward H. Merrin Gallery, New York; to the MFA, December 1971, purchase.

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay