Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Costumed Figure Pendant

Date:
1st–7th century
Geography:
Colombia
Culture:
Tolima
Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
H. 7 1/8 x W. 4 3/8 in. (18.1 x 11.1cm)
Classification:
Metal-Ornaments
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979
Accession Number:
1979.206.497
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 357
The Tolima peoples of Colombia's Magdalena Valley produced a distinctive type of gold object that had a high degree of consistency over a considerable period of time. The objects, figure pendants with zoomorphic and anthropomorphic references, were worn about the neck suspended from cords or thongs; they are almost flat, with sharp, symmetrical outlines. Their standard, identifiable forms verge on abstraction, but facial features such as the long, slender noses, beady eyes, and toothy mouths are depicted more realistically. Two basic configurations are known; the present example is of the "winged" body type. It has the squarish face with big, loopy ears, inverted L-shaped ornaments on top of the head, perhaps representing plumes, and the large bifurcated tail common on both types. Its midsection, however, below the splayed, fringed "arms," features elaborate openwork, perhaps depicting feathers or even a feathered costume. It has been suggested that the animal references of Tolima spread "wing" pendants—perhaps to bats, birds, and serpents—relate the figures to shamanism.
[John Wise Ltd., New York, until 1957]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1957, on loan to the Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1957–1978

Art of Oceania, Africa, and the Americas from the Museum of Primitive Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1969, 463.

Newton, Douglas, Julie Jones, and Kate Ezra. The Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Americas. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987.



Related Objects

Masked Figure Pendant

Date: 10th–16th century Medium: Gold (cast alloy) Accession: 1979.206.500 On view in:Gallery 357

Anthropomorphic Pendant

Date: 5th–10th century Medium: Gold Accession: 66.196.16 On view in:Gallery 357

Anthropomorphic Pendant

Date: 5th–10th century Medium: Gold (cast) Accession: 1979.206.557 On view in:Gallery 357

Pendant

Date: 5th–10th century Medium: Gold Accession: 1979.206.562 On view in:Gallery 357

Pendant

Date: 5th–10th century Medium: Gold Accession: 1979.206.498 On view in:Gallery 357