Pendant in the Form of a Spider
Arts of the Americas
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, The Americas’ First Peoples, 4000 B.C.E.–1521 C.E.
In Costa Rica gold animal pendants were often worn by and buried with elite members of Chiriquí society. The eagle’s broad tail and outstretched wings may symbolize the animal’s ability to soar high into the sky and enter the supernatural realm. The spider’s legs end in human hands, which hold a double-headed snake. The abdomen, adorned with a bird and two crocodilian heads, is a bell that would have made a tinkling sound as the wearer moved. Depictions of predatory animals would have inspired awe and respect and provided the wearer with power and protection.
Alfred W. Jenkins Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Possibly Chiriquí. Pendant in the Form of a Spider, 1000-1500. Gold, 3 3/4 x 3 1/8 in. (9.5 x 8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred W. Jenkins Fund, 35.234. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 35.234_PS1.jpg)
overall, 35.234_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Gold pendant in the form of a spider with a large bell as the spider's abdomen. The spider appears to hold a double-headed snake. The bell is decorated with two animal heads and what might be a flower with three petals.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.