Costa Rica; Atlantic Watershed
Jade (jadeite); H. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm)
Gift of Carol R. Meyer, 1996 (1996.81)
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 objectsperhaps heirloomswere 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.