Masked human effigy pendant

Calima or Tolima
A.D. 100–1000

Object Place: Cauca, Calima or Magdalena River Valley, Colombia


5 x 3 x 0.7 cm (1 15/16 x 1 3/16 x 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gold alloy

Not On View


Americas, Jewelry



Cast gold figure of standing human wearing a long-snouted bucal mask. A bar across the figure’s shoulders has four tiny loops for suspending adornments and a second bar held in the figure’s hands also is pierced for suspending adornments. The figure’s hair or headdress is represented by nine gold wires protruding upwards from the head in a fan-like array. A suspension ring at the back of the neck allows for suspension.


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