- Zenú (Sinú)
- 600–1200 CE
The pre-Hispanic goldwork of Colombia is traditionally classified by archaeological zones, or regions, each with stylistic associations, varying in iconography and technology: Zenú (Sinú) and Tairona in northwestern Colombia; Muisca in the central highlands southeast of Bogotá; and in the southwest, Quimbaya, Calima, Tolima, and Nariño. The richly varied works were primarily objects of personal adornment. Pendants, headdress elements, pectorals, bracelets, anklets, and nose and ear ornaments probably functioned as ceremonial regalia for elite men. Sixteenth-century records and recent research indicate that Sinú gold objects derived from the Gran Zenú region, thus attributed to the Zenú people who occupied the region during the 16th century conquest and whose descendants occupy the east of the lower Sinú River today.
This type of long ornament with wide ends was worn in the septum of the nose. Zenú (Sinú) ornaments often feature delicate spirals, intricate line-work, and braided elements in cast filigree, as seen in this example. When worn together, as many of these personal gold ornaments undoubtedly were, they would have created a dazzling golden image.
Bonnie Pitman, ed., "Ceremonial mask (1976.W.321)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 33.
Bonnie Pitman, ed., "Headdress ornament with heads flanked by crested crocodiles (1976.W.319)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 34.
Carol Robbins, "Ceremonial mask (1976.W.321)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Suzanne Kotz (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1997), 178.
"Nose Ornament (1979.206.545)." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1979.206.541,.545/. (August 2009).
"Eagle Pendant (1977.187.22)." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1977.187.22/. (August 2009).