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Artist/Maker: Gran Chiriquí (Panama)

Date: ca. 800-1200
Medium: volcanic stone
Overall: 4 1/8 x 4 1/4 x 1 1/8 in. (10.5 x 10.8 x 2.9 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Greta Gurr
Object number: 90.0126.73
DescriptionThe volcanic stone used to create this piece most likely comes from the Baru Volcano, located in Chiriquí province, where the piece was found. The Baru Volcano was highly active during the last two thousand years, so it may have been viewed as a great source of metaphysical power due to the geological impact of these seismic eruptions. Volcanic stone was commonly used during this time for the creation of decorative pieces such as small anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures. The importance of volcanic stone parallels the importance of this face to the artist. Although it is simple and worn from age, this small piece shows the use of a universal symbol - a smiling face enclosed in a circular form - which calls attention to the development of the portrait in Panamanian art.
Not on view