Anthropo-zoomorphous pendant

Caribbean Plains (Zenú) - Late Period1000/1600

Museo del Oro, Bogotá

Museo del Oro, Bogotá
Bogota, Colombia

In the figure of a shamanic dancer, this pendant is made of tumbaga, a gold and copper alloy, with the cire perdue (lost wax) casting method. A model made of beeswax was covered with clay to form a mould, heated to remove the wax while preserving its shape in the mould, and finally transformed into metal by pouring melted metal into the hollow shape. In Conquest times, Spaniards thought that Indian goldsmiths could melt gold with some plants: the proof was that fingerprints could be seen on some objects. The pattern on this pendant seems, however, to be that of a textile used to work the beeswax. EL


  • Title: Anthropo-zoomorphous pendant
  • Creator: Caribbean Plains (Zenú) - Late Period
  • Date: 1000/1600
  • Physical Dimensions: w6 x h8 mm
  • Type: Goldwork
  • External Link: The Working of Metals room
  • Technique: Lost wax casting in tumbaga
  • Finding: Colombia, Sucre, Ovejas
  • Accession number: O25631

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