Nov 1, 2011

Tunjos (Votive Offering Figurine)

Tunjos (Votive Offering Figurine)

c. 900-1550

Cast gold

Overall: 10.3 x 2.7 x 0.8 cm (4 1/16 x 1 1/16 x 5/16 in.)

Gift of the Hanna Fund 1957.25


Unlike the other gold ornaments made in the isthmian region, tunjos were not worn; instead, they served as offerings that were deposited in sacred places such as lagoons and caves. They often depict humans who hold something.

Perhaps because they were not meant for display, tunjos were not finished after lost-wax casting. Flaws remain uncorrected, surfaces are unpolished, and gold that backed into the channel used to pour the molten metal into the mold was left in place.


The Lost-Wax Casting Process
See also
Art of the Americas
Type of artwork: 
Cast gold

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