Artifacts - Mexico and Central America


Pale Green Jade

Costa Rican

Avian Effigy Pendant

Atlantic Watershed

Classic Period

circa 100 - 800 AD

collected circa 1970

From a California private collection



Very nice example of a Mayan jade ( axe god ) effigy pendant in the form of a bird, influenced by the shape of a stone axe or celt.  Soft green, slightly translucent stone.  Avian effigy form, probably a parrot, eagle, or curassow.  Simple, elegant, stylized form.

Jadeite was the most precious of all materials in the eyes of the pre-Columbian people of Costa Rica.  Jadeite and greenstone were worked into a wide variety of items from tools and utensils to items worn as emblems of social and political power. Jade objects were a sign of wealth and prestige. A common form was the axe god pendant, which was suspended from a cord around the neck. The name "axe god" comes from the form of the pendant, which replicates the shape of the traditional stone chopping tool (or axe). While most are anthropomorphic, some represent animals or supernatural beings.  There is evidence that the avian form related to land ownership or land management in Costa Rican Mayan culture.

Very Good condition.  No chips or cracks.  Please note; white lines are natural matrix of lighter material in the jade, not cracks.  No repairs.

dimensions: approx 1/4" wide x 3 1/2" long 

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