Mayan Jade-like Stone Pectoral - PF.3556
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 6 th Century AD to 9 th Century AD
Dimensions: 5.125" (13.0cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Mayan
Medium: Jade-like Stone


The Maya in their great temple cities reached the summit of the classical age in Ancient Mesoamerica. In those temple cities, great artistic expressions such as murals and sculptures flourished. It is during this classical period in which artists refined their skills to represent the human forms, deities and other symbolic art works. Used in various rituals and ceremonies, their art embodied rich symbolism, laden with complex meanings, which largely remain esoteric. This green stone pectoral is skillfully carved to show a simple and elegant image of a symbolic/mythological being. As we look into the carving, we feel as if we are staring into an ancient spiritual image that was transported through the time obstacle. Mayans had myriad gods and mythological beings that they worshiped and cherished. The God of the underworld, jaguar God, and gesture God are just several examples of beings worshiped by the Mayans. The simple triangular shape of the stone with one thick, flat end and a sharp, pointed end seems to be suggestive of its esoteric symbolism. Moreover, the surface carved with short incision lines creates a bold and mysterious image. The Mayans created such precious pectorals as emblems of rulership or wealth. They were worn by special persons or were hung within the palaces. So lovingly carved and polished, this pectoral must have belonged to a highly regarded person. Although the carved image is esoteric to us, we are overwhelmed by its mysterious beauty and history. - (PF.3556)



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