- Museum number
Human-shaped pectoral, apparently a woman, made in tumbaga by lost-wax casting. She wears a bird-bick helmet and a semicircular headdress with open-work 'rays', and seems to be holding a bar with her hands. A semicircular plaque appears instead of legs. The face was made with the aid of a matrix used to create its form in the wax-model.
- Production date
Height: 15.50 centimetres
Width: 9 centimetres
Depth: 2 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Comments by a member of the Muisca group in Bosa – William Garibello. February 2021. Gold was a representation of the spiritual realm among the Muisca. It was not used for commercial exchange. It was not only used to decorate people’s bodies; the chronicles also talk about houses being decorated with gold figures. This figure shows a person in meditation, in connection with the gods and the spirits of the land. His eyes are closed, showing a peaceful, introspective state. The headdress is a solar representation. It might show the main solar gods “Chipaba” the father, “Chiminigagua” the son, and the “great spirit” (see the hybridization between Muisca mythology and the Christian concept of theTrinity). The semi-circle under his torso can be a representation of the underworld. In meditation, the Muisca were able to re-connect the upper solar worlds with the human realm and the underworld.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1996, London, Museum of Mankind (Room 1), 'Gilded Image'
2013 Oct 17 - 2014 Mar 23. BM, ‘Beyond El Dorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Colombia’
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Am1875C1.9561 (old CDMS no.)
Miscellaneous number: Am1875C0608.1