Gold Pendant of a Snake with a Split Body - FJ.6322, Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area, Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD, Dimensions: 4.25" (10.8cm) high x 3" (7.6cm) wide, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Pre-Columbian, Medium: Gold. The snake is one of the most potent forces in nature. An almost mythical creature, it is feared for its speed and cunning, respected for its beauty; worshiped in many cultures around the world as a bringer of death and intermediary of spirits. The Bribri people of Costa Rica believe snakes represent danger; viewed as bows and arrows of evil spirits, and their bite seen as demonic. Therefore, the handling of poisonous snakes with impunity was regarded as an act of spiritual power. The head of this fabulous snake pendant is the focal point of its strength, beautifully formed and graphically displaying sharp fangs. The main body separates at the end into two smaller snakes which twist upwards around the larger head. Each of the small heads have a band around the neck, a feature found on other gold jewelry. Double rows of triangles inside the curve of each section of the body gives it texture and continues the 'fang' image. Since warriors wore gold into battle, perhaps this pendant was intended to inspire fear. Today, however, its effect is one of excitement, mystery and sheer beauty.
Ancient Central America & Mexico