Atlantic Watershed Greenstone Figure-Celt Pendant - PF.3872
Origin: Eastern Costa Rica
Circa: 100 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 7" (17.8cm) high x 3" (7.6cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Atlantic Watershed
Medium: Greenstone


Skillful carving and drilling techniques distinguish this fascinating stone pendant. It is an exceptional representation of an figure-celt pendant from Costa Rica. This unusually large pendant depicts a human figure portrayed as a figure-celt who is probably a shaman or chieftain-shaman with high political as well as religious status. This Celt like pendant symbolically represents a functional polished celt that was used as a forest-clearing tool that is associated with agriculture. The legs are indicated by only triangular and rectangular incisions. The artist tackling the hard material by defining planes, cutting out and sawing grooves, created this remarkable work of art. The head is covered by a mask, which is adorned with a cap incised with arrows. The bulbous cheeks and large triangular nose are fascinating features and remain an enigma. Turn the pendant to its back and we are faced with another enigma: an incised "X". This must be an important symbol both politically and religiously. There are drilled holes for suspension. Although the precise meaning of this exceptional lapidary work of art is as yet unclear, the fine artistry of this pendant clearly represents a highly sophisticated and flourishing culture in ancient Costa Rica. A culture whose art appeases our thirst for beauty and innovation and lingers in our minds with awe and wonder, reminding us of the distant past. - (PF.3872)



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