Pre-Columbian, Mexico and northern Central America, Mayan Territories, Late Classic, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A gorgeous flat pendant, string cut into low relief on one side, forming an avian creature with large wings, a curved beak, and a hole drilled through one side for suspension. The bird represented may be a hummingbird. In Maya art, hummingbirds are depicted as companions to Itzamnaaj, the king of the gods. Itzamnaaj sometimes wears a hummingbird bill, and the hummingbird often acts as his messenger, described as a bringer of prophecies. Some scholars compare the hummingbird's role in Maya mythology with that of the owl: both speak for the gods, but, unlike the owl who is associated with death and the underworld, the hummingbird is associated with heaven and benevolence. However, because of the real bird's tendency to become aggressive during mating season, hummingbirds also adorned weapons of war in Maya, Aztec, and Mississippian culture. Size: 1.25" W x 1.15" H (3.2 cm x 2.9 cm)
Provenance: private Los Angeles County, California, USA collection
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Wearable and intact, with very light encrustation in the lower profile areas.