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Bird Pendant


Not on view

The mythological bird depicted here probably mixes traits of several avian groups, including the hooked beak of a waterbird or a bird of prey, perhaps the king vulture. The pendant attests to the sophistication of the lost-wax casting tradition in northern Colombia. A detailed wax model—likely with a core of clay mixed with organic material—was encased in a clay investment. The wax was subsequently melted and drained, leaving a void into which molten metal was poured.

El ave mitológico representado aquí combina probablemente rasgos de distintos grupos aviares, que incluyen el pico de un ave acuático o ave rapaz, quizás el rey buitre. El colgante muestra la sofisticada tradición de la fundición a la cera perdida del norte de Colombia. La pieza, moldeada en cera, cuyo núcleo era probablemente de cerámica y material orgánico, estaba cubierta con arcilla. Al calentar el molde, la cera se derretía y era evacuada, dejando un espacio libre en el interior para recibir el metal fundido.

Bird Pendant, Gold, Tairona

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