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Pendant

Date:
4th–7th century
Geography:
Costa Rica
Culture:
Atlantic Watershed
Medium:
Jadeite
Dimensions:
H. 2 3/4 x W. 2 3/4 in. (7 x 7 cm)
Classification:
Stone-Ornaments
Credit Line:
Gift of Carol R. Meyer, 1996
Accession Number:
1996.81
  • Description

    Edged with abstract renditions of ten human trophy heads, this jade pendant has a large central hole and two upper perforations through which to thread a cord for suspension. The taking of heads as trophies in ancient Costa Rica is believed to have been a way in which victorious warriors appropriated the knowledge and power of their defeated enemies. Greenstone held a position of importance among the peoples of ancient Costa Rica, and jade objects—perhaps heirlooms—were occasionally recarved to suit new owners or different purposes. This pendant may have been reworked from a piece of jade already possessing a central hole.

  • Provenance

    [Spencer Throckmorton, New York]; Carol R. Meyer, New York, until 1996

  • See also
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
317785

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