Mace Head

Mace Head

300-500

Pecked and polished gray stone

Overall: 4.2 x 7.3 x 13.6 cm (1 5/8 x 2 7/8 x 5 3/8 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James C. Gruener 1990.165

Fun Fact

In ancient Costa Rica, it was believed that the world rested on the back of a crocodile.

Description

Once mounted on wooden shafts, elaborately shaped mace (club) heads like this one probably were not used as weapons. Rather, they could have served as emblems of chiefly authority, group insignia, the heads of ceremonial weapons, or all three. They eventually were placed in elite graves. The back-curled nose on this example may refer to a crocodile or caiman.

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