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Hacha (axe) Pendants

Hacha pendant, jade, 7.1 x 3.3 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

Hacha pendant, jade, 7.1 x 3.3 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

© Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
Hacha pendant, jade, 8.1 x 4.5 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

Hacha pendant, jade, 8.1 x 4.5 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

© Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
Hacha pendant, jade, 9.4 x 5.2 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

Hacha pendant, jade, 9.4 x 5.2 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

© Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
Hacha pendant cut in two, jade, 9.2 x 1.9 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

Hacha pendant cut in two, jade, 9.2 x 1.9 cm, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Colección Patrimonio Arqueológico de Costa Rica

© Museo Nacional de Costa Rica

Notice

Material
Jade
Type
Accessories and jewellery
Details
These jade pendants, also known as jades, hachas (axes), dios-hacha (axe-gods), ave-pico (beaked-birds) or “chaneques” are from the Gran Nicoya region comprising northwestern Costa Rica and southwestern Nicaragua. They date from approximately 500 BC to 800 AD. These pieces are made of jade and other similar stones such as serpentine or jadeite. Colors include different shades of green, black, brown and almost white. Pendants range in size from just a few centimeters to 25 cm at the most. In average, they are 5 to 10 cm in height. Pendants are in the shape of an oval or petal-shaped stone axe edge. Decorative motifs are sculpted and incised in the top half of the front part. The surface in the bottom part is smooth and polished and has a round shape at the end, which gives the pendant its characteristic axe shape. Motifs are carved in high and low relief, using incisions and sculpture in the round. They portray human beings, stylized animals or a combination of both. Forms may be either realistic or abstract and schematic. Human figures usually wear a head-dress and are depicted in a standing or squatting position, with arms over the chest or around the legs. A few characteristic features include circular eyes, wide noses, open mouths and facial tattoos. Common animal representations include birds or figures with bird features, circular eyes, a wide triangular beak and winged arms crossed over the chest.
Red List
Red List of Latin American Cultural Objects at Risk
Countries
Costa Rica | Nicaragua
Period
Pre-Columbian