Guanacaste-Nicoya Jade Figure-Celt Pendant with a Large Headdress - PF.4298
Origin: Western Costa Rica
Circa: 100 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 6.5" (16.5cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Guanacaste-Nicoya
Medium: Jade


Jade figure-celts are one of the most typical forms of Pre-Columbian lapidary work from Costa Rica. Their exact meaning is a mystery, and their symbolism most likely derives from the equally mysterious Olmecs. This beautiful celt is in the classic style, with an anthropomorphic or avian figure carved on top of a blade. The high crest on the head suggests the brilliant plumage of the quetzal, a beautiful bird greatly admired in Mesoamerica, particularly by the Maya. The fact of the hands folded neatly over the abdomen is like the ritual pose of a shaman-priest, who may have worn a headdress made from the quetzal feathers. Unlike the Olmec Celts, those of Costa Rica have perforation holes, which show they were meant to be worn. There is little doubt the figure-celt pendant was a symbol of authority, worn by important individuals during ritual ceremonies. This gorgeous jade and fine carving combine to heighten the magic and mystique of this elegant pendant. - (PF.4298)



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