Exhibiting Historical Art: Out of the Vault: Stories of People and ThingsMain MenuWorld MapClick pins to learn more about the object that originated thereTimelinePre-Columbian Gold Headband800 A.D. - 1500 A.D.Gold Eagle PendantsSepik River Headrest20th centuryStatue of Saint Barbara17th century France, polychromed wood, artist unknownCabinet door from the Imperial Palace of Beijing with Imperial DragonChen Youzhang, 1755Bronze LampHead of John the BaptistLauren Linquest, '19Ida Rubenstein, 1909 Sculpture by Jo DavidsonCassone ChestWater-Carrier Vase with Bamboo Pattern and BambooLenore Vanderkooi, 1996Lotus Flowers in a Wood VaseRevolutions Per Minute: The Art RecordOpening page
Significance of the Bird Form
12016-04-07T14:02:07-07:00Sarah Robinsondfb2f746938b5c0a5b771e15293b8c60ba96c31c853210plain2016-04-27T19:44:57-07:00Sarah Robinsondfb2f746938b5c0a5b771e15293b8c60ba96c31cThe pendants were first named aguilas (eagles) by Christopher Columbus who first noted them as he sailed along the Caribbean coast of Central America at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It is likely, however, that aspects of many different birds went into the artistic formation of the pendants, although specialists today do not always agree on which birds those might be. Some also think that the bird is rather a "King Vulture," scaring off other predatory birds with its wings. The symbolic meaning of bird pendants is not exactly known, but one theory holds that the pendants represent birds of prey, and that they functioned as protective emblems.