Finial with Long-Beaked Bird

Finial with Long-Beaked Bird

400-1000

Gold, cast

Overall: 11.1 x 4.3 x 9.5 cm (4 3/8 x 1 11/16 x 3 3/4 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2015.4

Fun Fact

Birds, particularly water birds, may have been thought to travel between the different layers of the universe.

Description

Unique to Colombia's Sinú region are gold finials with sculptural images at right angles to thimble-like caps; the caps fit over the end of a staff, an emblem of rank that may have been held horizontally. This impressive finial features a dignified, long-beaked bird whose body contains a pellet that rattles when the finial moves. Sinú animal imagery is understudied but may relate to beliefs about the cosmos. For instance, contemporary natives attribute importance to birds because they have the capacity to move among different environments (air, land, water); they may have been regarded as mediators among levels of the cosmos.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.