Gold Pendant of a Jaguar/Buzzard Composite Creature - FJ.6209, Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area, Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD, Dimensions: 1.125" (2.9cm) high, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Costa Rican, Medium: Gold. This little masterpiece of Pre-Columbian gold silently shimmers in all its ancient glory. Depicting a composite creature, the work combines the powerful forces of artistic ingenuity and technical mastery with supernatural, mythical imagery. This fabulous zoomorphic creature features characteristic of both the king buzzard and the jaguar. The head is adorned with a fanciful and delicate filigree of beautiful symmetrical coils of gold. This ornamentation most probably portrays the stylized representation of the characteristic folds of skin of the king buzzard which have a bright pattern of red, black and orange. Applied gold circular eyes are encircled by a thin line of gold. The glistening, curved beak clearly represents the strong, hooked beak of the king buzzard. The king buzzard symbolized the protecting spirit or "alter-ego" of a social group, clan or individual. The body, legs, paws, and taunt, curly tail depict the jaguar. The jaguar has had great mythological significance in Pre-Columbian art from the earliest Olmec civilization. The great cat, both beautiful and fierce, has been the subject of devotion and adoration for centuries. The two loops on its front paws suggest that it was worn as a pendant. The creature is full of dynamic power, appearing ready to pounce on an unsuspecting prey. Such an extraordinary pendant was certainly worn by a person of high rank and social authority, such as a king or shaman.