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Finial with Two Deer

Finial with Two Deer

400-1000

Gold, cast

Overall: 6.8 x 4.3 x 7.4 cm (2 11/16 x 1 11/16 x 2 15/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2015.5

Fun Fact

This exquisite finial was made using the lost-wax casting process.

Description

Unique to Colombia's Sinú region are gold finials with sculptural images at right angles to thimble-like caps; the caps fit over the end of a staff, an emblem of rank that may have been held horizontally. This impressive finial features two deer (or a single creature with two deer heads) that hold human-like hands over their chests. Sinú animal imagery is understudied but may relate to beliefs about the cosmos. For instance, contemporary natives attribute importance to birds because they have the capacity to move among different environments (air, land, water); they may have been regarded as mediators among levels of the cosmos.

See also

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