Sinu Gold Knob of a Ceremonial Staff Featuring a Bird - FJ.6238, Origin: Colombia, Circa: 600 AD to 1600 AD, Dimensions: 4" (10.2cm) high, Catalogue: V23, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Pre-Columbian, Medium: Gold. Some of the indigenous animals of Colombia are beautifully represented in Sinu jewelry. The goldsmiths delighted in depicting the fauna of the lowlands and swamps with considerable realism. It is interesting to note that the aggressive traits of animals were not emphasized. Rather, their showy aspects are given predominance, as seen in this very lovely bird on top of a ceremonial staff. The chiefs and shamans of Pre-Columbian times loved pomp and ceremony, and there is nothing that better illustrates both than the staff. It is symbol of prestige, honor and power. Basically a simple object intended to impress and awe, this knob does just that by its excellent and superb artistry. The handsome bird has abstract qualities blended with realistic details. Its wings are neatly folded on the back, segmented with two side-by-side series of holes and incised along the ridge to give the impression of feathers. The tail is essentially a triangle composed of three triangles inside, which balances perfectly with the gorgeous crest. It is as if the bird is dressed for a special occasion, with double banded ankle bracelets around each leg. The base itself has 'windows' on each side segmented by four diagonal and two vertical bands, each in a different configuration. The overall effect is an object that is both splendid and subtle, rich and delicate; full of character, wit and charm that shines as brilliantly as the gold.
Ancient South America