Veraguas Gold Avian Pendant - FJ.6269, Origin: Varaguas Region of Panama, Circa: 1000 AD to 1600 AD, Dimensions: 3.5" (8.9cm) high x 4" (10.2cm) wide, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Veraguas, Medium: Gold. When Columbus passed along the coast of Bocas del Toro in 1502, his son Ferdinando remarked having seen Indians who were stark naked except for gold mirrors and eagle pendants around their necks. This type of ornament was further described by a Spanish priest as 'made like eagles, with open wings and a long, curved beak.' The spread eagle motif was used for centuries in Panamanian pottery and went through many changes, from highly geometric to very realistic. This lovely pendant, known as a aguilas, shows a stylixed eagle or parrot with a vertical tail and wings arched as if pulled inwards during flight. Its crest is formed with similar curved bands. The unadorned effect is contrasted to the spirals and curves of the ears, eyes and cap-like coils on its head. Curiously, there is a strap around the chin, which then curls around the eyes. Veraguas eagles are sharp-edged with a clean outline. They were made to be worn, in life and in the afterlife, soaring through one realm into the other with dazzling brilliance.