Work of Art: Figural Pendant
Costa Rican
Diquis region
Chiriqui culture
Figural Pendant
circa 750-1550
Gilded metal and cast gold
2 x 1 3/4 in. (5.1 x 4.4 cm)
Gift of Dr. Clifton F. Mountain and Mrs. Marilyn T. Mountain

This pendant was worn as an emblem of prestige and power. It portrays a fully animal-form eagle, which spreads its wings and extends its talons in an attack pose. Note the double-headed serpent emerging from the eagle's head. Images such as these are thought to depict various stages of the transformation of a shaman, a religious practitioner with magical powers.

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