Skip Navigation

Gold Ornament in the Form of an Animal Devouring a Serpent

Arts of the Americas

While we do not know the significance of the figures on these gold pendants, the mixture of human and animal attributes suggests a mythical and supernatural universe. The ornaments were worn on necklaces, perhaps by political and religious leaders who recognized and valued their symbolism. The representations of anthropomorphic animals may allude to the transformative powers of shamans or their spirit helpers as they journey to supernatural realms.

Aunque no conocemos el significado de las figuras en estos pendientes de oro, la mezcla de atributos humanos y animales sugiere un universo mítico y sobrenatural. Los ornamentos eran llevados en collares, quizás por líderes políticos y religiosos que reconocían y valoraban su simbolismo. Las representaciones de animales antropomórficos pueden aludir a los poderes transformadores de los chamanes o de sus ayudantes espirituales en sus viajes a los reinos sobrenaturales.
DATES 700-1550 CE
DIMENSIONS 3 7/16 x 2 15/16in. (8.7 x 7.5cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Alfred W. Jenkins Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
CAPTION Diquís. Gold Ornament in the Form of an Animal Devouring a Serpent, 700-1550 CE. Gold, 3 7/16 x 2 15/16in. (8.7 x 7.5cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred W. Jenkins Fund, 35.189. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.35.189.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.35.189.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.