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Parrot

Artist/Maker: Gran Chiriquí (Panama)

Date: ca. 800-1200
Medium: volcanic stone
Dimensions:
Overall: 3 7/8 x 5 x 2 5/8 in. (9.8 x 12.7 x 6.7 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Greta Gurr
Terms
Object number: 90.0126.87
DescriptionThis parrot is a fine example of zoomorphic, sculpted stone made by the Gran Chiriquí culture. The Gran Chiriquí resided in western Panamá, where the Baru Volcano provided materials to create such figures, many of which are birds. In some pre-Columbian indigenous groups, the parrot is believed to be associated with acute hearing, clever speech, seeing into the future, and eavesdropping, activities that are typical of shamans and healers. Images of birds usually vary in size and complexity. This small example holds its wings in a nesting position at its side, and looks down with expressive eyes, giving it a life-like quality. This parrot sculpture is an excellent example of the fragility of stone art, as the tail was once broken off and has subsequently been repaired.
Not on view