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.


After about 1930, excavated in the Sitio Conte area, Coclé Province, Panama. Between about 1950 and 1955, acquired from a private collection, San Jose, Costa Rica by Paul Pasher and, about 1955, entrusted by him to Manuel Miranda Pinto, San Salvador, El Salvador; April 1970, returned by Manuel Miranda Pinto to Paul Pasher, New York; 1970, sold by Paul Pasher to the Edward H. Merrin Gallery, New York; 1971, sold by Merrin Gallery to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 8, 1971)

NOTE: Before acquiring Paul Pasher's collection of Panamanian gold (accession nos. 1971.783-1971.1129 and 1972.940-1972.944) the MFA contacted the National Commission on Historical Archaeology and Monuments, Panama; the president of the Commission responded that no objections were raised to the acquisition.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Landon T. Clay