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Pectoral (Chest Ornament)

Pectoral (Chest Ornament)


Gold, hammered

Overall: 22.7 x 28.5 x 2.9 cm (8 15/16 x 11 1/4 x 1 1/8 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2015.2


Bilobed pectorals are some of the most flamboyant objects created by artists in Colombia’s Calima region. Chiefs apparently wore such pectorals—among the largest torso adornments ever created in the ancient Americas—with other gold objects, including bracelets, dramatic headdress adornments, and ear and nose ornaments like those shown on the pectoral itself. Thus, they armored themselves in gold, which likely had complex symbolism; for instance, it may have been associated with the sun and thereby with nourishing cosmic energies and positive moral behavior.

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