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Mayan Greenstone Necklace w/ Jaguar Pendant

$2,495.00
Pre-Columbian, Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Mayan Territories, Maya, Classic period, ca. 250 to 900 CE. A beautiful Mayan pendant, hand-carved from a mottled pale-green stone with dark-green inclusions, depicting the snarling head and face of a jaguar with a spherical greenstone bead placed in its mouth. Forty-six spherical greenstone beads of a deeper, but still mottled, green color complete the necklace. Ancient beads and pendant on modern wire with modern clasp. Size of pendant: 1.4" L x 1.8" W x 2" H (3.6 cm x 4.6 cm x 5.1 cm); length of chain: 22" L (55.9 cm)

The form of the jaguar was revered throughout the Pre-Columbian New World as the mightiest wild feline and was used as a symbol of power and kingship. In Classic Maya art, the jaguar is associated with lordly might and as an avatar for the gods. Many rulers during this time took jaguar names: Shield-Jaguar and Bird-Jaguar, for example. One of the Hero Twins described in the Quiche book Popol Voh, the most famous Maya text, is named Xbalanque, which is almost certainly derived from the word for jaguar, "balam", and that twin is shown in art with jaguar pelt markings on his face and body.

Condition: Ancient beads on modern cord with modern clasp. Small signs of wear, including smoothing to form from touch and light scratching, commensurate with age on the pendant and beads. Overall in very nice condition.

Provenance: private southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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