Figure Pendant

Date: 4th–8th century

Geography: Costa Rica

Culture: Atlantic Watershed

Medium: Pyrophyllite

Dimensions: H. 4 1/8 x W. 3 x D. 1/2 in. (10.5 x 7.6 x 1.3 cm)

Classification: Stone-Ornaments

Credit Line: The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1966

Accession Number: 1978.412.152


Possessing a monumental quality despite its actual size, this simple stone pendant boldly depicts an abstract faceless figure with a body segmented into three registers. The prominent circular holes framed by the arms and head are not for suspension; there is a separate hole drilled through the neck for that purpose. Instead, they are negative spaces that clarify the hands-to-head posture of the figure. Speckled stone and an irregular, soft geometricity lend an organic air to the form. Realism is not a goal here as the incised delineations of digits depict eight toes on the figure's left foot.