c. 4700–2920 BC
Overall: 13.2 cm (5 3/16 in.)
Gift of Severance A. Millikin 1953.628
CMA daringly acquired this masterpiece without knowing exactly what it was. Only after Chinese archaeologists started excavating similar jades in Northeast China could it be attributed to the Hongshan culture.
With a bovine head and four horns, this seated figurine was a powerful ritual and shamanic symbol. Drill holes above its shoulders form two interconnected perforations for suspension, suggesting that the jade was originally used as a pendant, presumably by the shaman performing the tasks of journeying to and communicating with the supernatural realms.
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