The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 27, 2017

Pectoral Ornament, c. 1200-1519

gold, jadeite, Overall: 8 x 7.2 cm (3 1/8 x 2 13/16 in). Gift of James C. Gruener in memory of his wife, Florence Crowell Gruener 1983.190

This extraordinary pendant consists of a conch shell section carved in jade, enclosed in a delicate gold frame with tiny dangling bells. This symbol was worn by the deity Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent) a culture hero credited in one myth with creating human life by sprinkling his blood on ground bones. The pectoral may have been worn by a priest, or by a ceremonial impersonator of Quetzalcoatl.

Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art; 1992. " The Gruener Collection of Pre- Columbian Art." cat. The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art. 79 (September, 1992.) p. 273, no. 109, repr. p. 262.

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