Diquis Gold Pendant of a Man Dressed in an Avian Costume - FJ.6254, Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area, Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD, Dimensions: 3" (7.6cm) high x 3.25" (8.3cm) wide, Catalogue: V24, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Diquis, Medium: Gold. Though the goldsmiths of the Diquis region are well known for their avian (bird) pendants; they also produced objects that show a man in a bird form. The significance of such symbolism opens us to the world of the shaman and their prominence in Costa Rican society. By studying this fabulous pendant we can learn something about the ancient sorcerer, and at the same time appreciate the brilliant artistry of a master goldsmith. The male figure on this pendant is about to take flight. His elegant wings are spread, his knees bent as if ready to spring from the ledge he stands upon. He is naked except for an ornamental band around his chest and knees. His genitals are exposed, which is probably intended to demonstrate his courage and apparent invulnerability. The headdress is a spendid arrangement of two mythical heads looking in opposite directions. This constitutes the top section of what is probably a helmet mask with the image of a parrot or vulture. The man's pigeon chest is not only characteristic of birds, it is also a physical attribute of shamans. With stunning expertise and refined sensibilities, both artist and shaman came together long ago to create a work of art that literally seems not of this world.