Trophy Head Pendant

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

About the work

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Olmecs were the first Mesoamerican civilization to produce jade objects. They had a preference for blue-green stones which they carved into ornaments and tools. Since the Olmecs, ancient Latin American civilizations have continued to rework jade objects. Small works like pendants would be modified for new owners, over generations. This particular pendant resembles the blue-green jades of Olmec work. It has a central opening bordered by abstract, disembodied heads. Ancient Costa Rican warriors took their opponents' heads as trophies, emulated in their art.

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