Breastplate in the shape a bird-man

Upper Cauca Region - Late Period900/1600

Museo del Oro, Bogotá

Museo del Oro, Bogotá
Bogota, Colombia

Of all the shaman’s incarnations, the bird is perhaps the most common among the present-day indigenous peoples of Colombia. Such a transformation is represented in this splendid pectoral. The figure depicted on it, with curved beak and wearing a grooved diadem, has animals with curled tails attached to both arms. These are interpreted as being the shaman’s assistants or helpers.


  • Title: Breastplate in the shape a bird-man
  • Creator: Upper Cauca Region - Late Period
  • Creator Lifespan: 900/1600
  • Creator Nationality: Colombia
  • Creator Death Place: Colombia
  • Creator Birth Place: Colombia
  • Date: 900/1600
  • Physical Dimensions: w165 x h133.1 x d21 mm
  • Type: Goldwork
  • External Link: Cosmology and Symbolism room
  • Technique: Lost wax casting in gold
  • Finding: Colombia
  • Accession number: O06414

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