Costa Rica | Diquis Cast Gold Anthropomorphic Figure with a Cone Shaped Crown | | David Bernstein Pre-Columbian Art
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Costa Rica, Diquis Cast Gold Anthropomorphic Figure with a Cone Shaped Crown
The figure has a crocodilian nose and mouth with serpents emanating from his head and wears a cone-shaped crown. His hands are held outward with broad shoulders which could also be wings, and his flipper-shaped feet are typical of the Diquis region which borders Panama. Crocodiles, or Saurians are not often depicted as standalone figures. A very similar shaped figure, but smaller and without the helmet is illustrated in THE ART OF PRECOLUMBIAN GOLD - The Jan Mitchell Collection, #6. Another similar figure is in the Janssen Collection in Antwerp. Both have a male phallus.
Costa Rica | Diquis Style Cast Gold Figure of a Shaman Wearing an Crocodile Mask | | David Bernstein Pre-Columbian Art
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Costa Rica, Diquis Style Cast Gold Figure of a Shaman Wearing an Crocodile Mask
This is a hollow lost wax cast figure that has a relatively thick wall. It has two casting chaplets on the back that can be seen clearly. The pointed upturned nose and sharp teeth are qualities of a crocodile. A crocodile from the Diquis area is illustrated in THE GOLD OF ANCIENT AMERICA, P.114. Ellen Howe wrote about this piece in A RADIOGTRAPHIC STUDY OF HOLLOW CAST GOLD PENDANTS FROM SITIO CONTE in the 45th Congress of Americanists, Bogota 1985, pg. 190-200, where she C-14 tested the carbon core and took radiographs. Ex-Jan Mitchell collection, prior to 1980.