Pre-Columbian Bat-Shaman Figure
Colombia, Tairona Culture, circa AD 1000-1500
Shaman figure made in tumbaga (gold and copper alloy) and used as pendant. Depicted naked with legs spread apart and a long object like a sceptre grasp in the hands; wears pectoral decorated with interweaving line, piercings with beads on the cheeks and an elaborate flat two-arched headgear, composed of two bats hang upside down. The meaning of such figures is not well understood, also called cacique (chieftains) are frequently related to the birds figure, especially bats, which appear as decoration of their big headgears.
Until 1985 in the Principality of Monaco; formerly in the collection of Gaspard Mollien (French diplomat, 1796-1872).

 

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