Anthropomorphous pendant with danglers

Mid-Cauca (Quimbaya) - Early Period-500/700

Museo del Oro, Bogotá

Museo del Oro, Bogotá
Bogota, Colombia

Hanging plates are a common feature of many pre-Hispanic goldsmith artefacts of Colombia, including the early period of the Mid Cauca, and this hanging ornament shaped like a schematic human figure whose face corresponds to the ceramics and goldwork iconography of that period belongs to that time. It has a triangular outline, prominent cheek bones, half closed eyes and mouth, a channelled band on the forehead and several rings along the ear lobe. Like in other objects of the same metallurgy, it is interesting to note that the plates, generally in the shape of a half moon, hide most of the figure, in this case the body, but in other objects the face and in some cases, both the face and body. What could have been the purpose of using these plates? For sure the hanging plates produced light flashes and metal noises contributing to the aesthetics and the impact to the senses; but it is also probable that the fact of hiding something behind it could have another purpose, maybe related to transformation, something hidden or another concept. MAU


  • Title: Anthropomorphous pendant with danglers
  • Creator: Mid-Cauca (Quimbaya) - Early Period
  • Creator Lifespan: -486/700
  • Creator Nationality: Colombia
  • Creator Death Place: Colombia
  • Creator Birth Place: Colombia
  • Date: -500/700
  • Physical Dimensions: w135 x h110 mm
  • Type: Goldwork
  • External Link: Cosmology and Symbolism room
  • Technique: Lost wax casting in tumbaga with hammered danglers
  • Finding: Colombia, Valle del Cauca, Trujillo
  • Accession number: O00340

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