Diquis Gold Pendant of a Scorpion

SKU FJ.6202

500 AD to 1550 AD


4.75″ (12.1cm) high





Gallery Location



The Diquis region of Costa Rica (which borders Panama) was one of the most important gold manufacturing centers in Pre-Columbian times. Gold was in plentiful supply from the rivers flowing towards the sea, and gold jewelry was considered a vital part of a person's ornamentation and religious paraphernalia. Diquis goldsmith's developed a distinctive local style; often representing nature very accurately, but with a rich symbolism of complex beliefs that may be similar to the mythology of present- day Indians of the region. This fantastic pendant represents a beautifully detailed scorpion gripping onto two snakes with its many legs. The body has ridges on it back, finely delineated pincers and curved tail unique to scorpions. Its eyes are particularly charming, squinting in the way insects do, and full of character. The two snakes, used as side supports for balance, each have a double head and are purely mythical. This abstract element serves to heighten the realism of the scorpion. With remarkable skill a highly talented goldsmith took raw gold and fashioned it into something very beautiful and powerful; revealing nature through myth and magic, formed into an object of pure radiance.

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