Head-form pendant

900–1520 CE
more object details

General Description

Mixtec artisans were famous for their extraordinarily refined miniature carvings made in a variety of materials, creating objects of virtually perfect design and workmanship. Though not the first metal workers in the Americas, the Mixtecs were among the greatest. Smaller decorative ornaments were part of the larger elaborate costume accoutrements for nobility—often worn on the face, forehead, and chest—and projected both elite status and supernatural power. This cast copper pendant with frontal face would have originally been suspended from a necklace by the fixture at the top of the head. The figure's animal-like facial features may represent a monkey or other creature. Objects such as these often accompanied the king and other nobility on the journey through death to the otherworld.

Elaine Higgins Smith, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, 2016.

Drawn from

  • Carol Robbins, Label text [1968.20], A. H. Meadows Galleries, 2010.

  • Kathy Windrow, DMA unpublished material, 1992.

  • DMA unpublished material, 2009.

  • Getty Vocabulary, AAT (pendants (jewelry): AAT: 300046002).