Cauca Gold Pendant of a Human/Sea Horse Composite Creature - FJ.6354, Origin: Cauca, Colombia, Circa: 1150 AD to 1600 AD, Dimensions: 4.25" (10.8cm) high, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Cauca, Medium: Gold. The iconography of Pre-Columbian gold allows us a glimpse into the esoteric ritual and religious practices of the ancient people of Colombia. This extraordinary figure is full of mystery and wonder. The elegant body is half-human, half-fish, or perhaps sea horse with its delightfully curved tail. The headdress is composed of two identical separate sections, with markings around the edge, creating an effect like feathers. A raised rim around the person's face indicates the border of the headdress, and gives us a clear idea how it would have been attached to a dancer or performer. The fact he is holding onto a straight bar suggests someone performing an act, such as a trapeze artist or ancient equivalent. Loops on the bar, the hollow horizontal bar on the abdomen, and the two extensions at the waist were probably meant to hold "danglers" or small plaques. These would have created a delicate jingling sound when moved. What we are seeing here may be a representation of an acrobat, or even a shaman (sorcerer) involved in a ritual act. The grace and dignity of this figure is truly a marvel, and leaves our eyes and mind dazzled by its beauty and brilliance.