Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Art/ Collection/ Art Object


12th–14th century
Mexico, Mesoamerica
H. 2 1/4 x W. 5 1/2 x D. 1/4 in. (5.7 x 14 x 0.6 cm)
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1964
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 358
This flat, rectangular pendant depicts four profile faces with long, toothy snouts at each corner joined to undulating, spotted bodies separated by two round holes. The creatures may represent serpents, felines, or crocodilians, or a combination of these animals. All were commonly associated with water and fertility in Mesoamerica. The composition is bilaterally symmetrical on both horizontal and vertical axes. Two small holes at the top in back are for suspension.

The pendant is worked in a stone of green color, a hue symbolic of water, fertility, and life. Greenstone was thus considered more precious than gold by the peoples of ancient Mexico. The pendant is attributed to the Mixtecs of southern Mexico, renowned for their lapidary artistry.
[Everett Rassiga, New York, until 1964]; The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1964–1978

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art of Oceania, Africa, and the Americas from the Museum of Primitive Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1969, no. 599.

Related Objects

Figure Pendant

Date: 13th–14th century Medium: Greenstone Accession: 1979.206.1035 On view in:Gallery 358

Rain God Mask

Date: 13th–14th century Medium: Serpentine Accession: 1979.206.1062 On view in:Gallery 358

Ehecatl Vessel

Date: 10th–13th century Medium: Onyx marble (tecali) Accession: 1979.206.948 On view in:Gallery 358

Monkey Vessel

Date: 10th–13th century Medium: Onyx marble, pyrite, shell Accession: 1979.206.1156 On view in:Gallery 358


Date: 10th–13th century Medium: Greenstone Accession: 1979.206.710 On view in:Gallery 358