On this jadeite pendant, a man sits on a low dais in one of the cross-legged postures of Maya royalty. His left foot is relaxed over the edge of the bench, and his left hand is raised to his chest in a gesture of command. Dressed in the traditional costume indicative of high status, he wears wide beaded ankle and wrist bracelets, a long beaded necklace, and a large feathered headdress.
The pendant was worn strung as an ornament. In the seventh or eighth century, a royal Maya personage would have worn it around his neck as another declaration of his importance and rank. Jadeite was much favored in ancient America and was used for personal ornaments of all sorts. The shades of green and blue gray that occur naturally in the stone here were carefully incorporated into the carving. The greenest part of the stone, the most prized, was used for the head and torso of the royal figure.
Eugene A. and Ina L. Schnell, Longboat Key, FL, until 1999; Ina L. Schnell, Longboat Key, FL, 1999– 2005