**Originally Listed At $300**
Pre-Columbian, Colombia, Tairona culture, ca. 10th to 16th century CE. A fine pendant made of pale green steatite that resembles an abstract bat with long wings flanking a central rectangular tab. Bat wing pendants like this served as grave foods made from sacred greenstone. For example, in a burial from the Venezuelan Andes (which are culturally in close proximity to the Tairona), archaeologists found a bat wing pendant interred alongside raw materials of serpentine and steatite. Size: 10.5" W x 2" H (26.7 cm x 5.1 cm).
The Kogi and Ica people, who are direct descendants of the Tairona, wear similar items as rattles, attached to the elbows of dancers. They may have been used similarly in the pre-Columbian era. However, this stone example - like many - lacks any drilled holes for attachment, and so archaeologists have suggested that the stone items were symbolic representations of wooden ornaments, created as funerary offerings, similar to the ritually cached stone celts also common in this culture.
Provenance: private West Palm Beach, Florida, USA collection, acquired via inheritance from the collection of Louis L. Scher, found in Venezuela during the 1960s and 1970s
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