Pendant in the shape of a snail

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

Museo del Oro, Bogotá

Museo del Oro, Bogotá
Bogota, Colombia

Both land and salt water snails were a source of inspiration for the goldsmiths of the early period in the Mid Cauca, like this fine hanging ornament where we can see a snail with a long balloon shaped shell with various turns or spirals. This seems to represent a slender shaped specimen of the Bulimulidae family, living on land. The soft rounded shapes and the smooth shiny surface of the ornament correspond to the goldwork of that period. On some occasions these snail pendants exhibit two identical specimens, one next to the other, pending from the channelled cylinder used to thread the cord, as evidenced in other zoomorphic pendants inspired in butterflies or in cicadas undergoing a metamorphosis, all of them suggesting some type of principle of duality. MAU


  • Title: Pendant in the shape of a snail
  • Creator: Mid-Cauca (Quimbaya) - Early Period
  • Date: -500/700
  • Physical Dimensions: w16 x h56 mm
  • Type: Goldwork
  • External Link: People and Gold in Pre-Hispanic Colombia
  • Technique: Lost wax casting with core, in tumbaga
  • Finding: Colombia
  • Accession number: O06463

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