Monkey Mace Head

Mesoamerican

Costa Rica

Monkey Mace Head, 600-900 CE

  • Not On View

Jade

Dimensions: 2 13/16 × 2 3/4 × 4 in. (7.1 × 7 × 10.2 cm)

Gift of Barry Fitzmorris, 2011.215

In ancient Costa Rica, only members of the jaguar and monkey clans were eligible to become chiefs—or leaders. Jade had a mythic and religious function, and the high-quality pieces would have belonged to shamans, chiefs, and other important individuals. The mace head would have been mounted on a wooden staff and been symbolic of religious status or clan affiliation.

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