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Gorgeous Mayan Jade Face Pendant

Pre-Columbian, Mayan territories, ca. 550 to 900 CE. A striking pendant, finely carved from a beautiful piece of blue-green jade with white and russet inclusions to represent a frontal visage of a face or maskette with features that are somewhat Olmecoid in appearance. Note those very full, jowly babyface cheeks, dramatically slanted eyes, and full lips - all upon a misshapen head, a sign of high status most likely due to an artificial cranial deformation, as the elite Olmec traditionally wore tight-fitting helmets. It was not uncommon for the Maya to model their visual culture upon the former Olmec style - perhaps a sign of reverence for the first major civilization of Mesoamerica. Bilaterally perforated at the temples for suspension. Size: 1" L x 1.125" W (2.5 cm x 2.9 cm)

Just as green jade was reserved for elite Chinese emperors, in the Pre-Columbian world precious articles made from jade were reserved for royalty. Though post-dating the Maya, a legendary story about the Aztec leader Moctezuma illustrates just how valuable jade was to the ancients of the Americas. Moctezuma gave the Spanish conquistador Hern

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