Dimensions: 1 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (4.4 x 3.8 cm)
Museum Location: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, The Americas’ First Peoples, 4000 B.C.E.–1521 C.E.
Accession Number: L65.7.2
Catalogue Description: Jade carving of the upper torso and head of a small winged figure with the typical Olmec elongated, flattened head, drooping lips, and drilled ear lobes. The wings have been identified as those of a bat, a nocturnal animal associated with the darkness of the underworld. The wings also have scalloped edges and fine incised lines that recall the wings of a butterfly, a potent symbol of transformation. Four small drill holes along the edges of the wings may have been used to sew the figure to clothing or to a headress. The fact that this figurine was found in Costa Rica suggests that Olmec-style carvings were highly valued there, and indicate that extensive trading networks existed throughout Mesoamerica.