Pre-Columbian Art / Diquis Gold Bell Pendant Featuring a Squirrel - FJ.6315, Origin: Costa Rican/Panamanian Border Area, Circa: 500 AD to 1550 AD, Dimensions: 1" (2.5cm) high, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Diquis, Medium: Gold. From a study of Costa Rican gold jewelry, it is immediately apparent there was a demand for objects which were not only beautiful, but also made noise when rattled. This suggests they were intended for use during ritual ceremonies, where brilliant ornamentation combined with the jangling of bells created an impressive sight. This delightful pendant, when worn with many others, would have made an entrancing sound, especially if the wearer was involved in dance. Though Diquis goldsmiths utilized many indigenous rain forest animals and sea life in their jewelry, the squirrel is quite rare as subject matter. He sits very confidently on the bell, eating a nut, with his sassy tail curled around just touching the top of his head. The charm of this pendant is so great, we may imagine it having been worn by a child during ceremonies, perhaps given as a gift by proud parents. Whatever its original significance, this bell pendant is a work of art, full of wit, whimsy and artistic skill that will last for ages to come.