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Pre-Columbian Pair of Maya Ear Plugs

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Pre-Columbian Pair of Maya Ear Plugs

- Item No.

Item Details

  • Diameter:
    1 1/4 Inches
  • Period:
  • Origin:
    Not Applicable
For the Pre-Columbian Maya, jade was the preferred stone for denoting status and sacredness.  In fact, throughout Mesoamerica jade's value was based on its relative scarcity, the polished stone's brilliant, glossy surface, its translucent colors which ranged from light to luxuriant blue-green, and the challenge of carving the stone due to its hardness. In addition to jade's impressive visual qualities and rarity, jade was symbolically linked to the miracle of the earth's fecundity, the maize god, and the life-giving promise of green plants and blue-green water. Together, these attributes made the stone the most valuable of all materials to adorn the nobility and the gods. 

It is difficult to discern the correct geographical origin of these adornments because of the trade routes that existed during this period. It is possible that this pendant was found in the Central American region as there is ample evidence of trade routes between the ancient communities of Central America and the Mayan and Olmec cultures.

These ear plugs demonstrate the aesthetic variety and technical expertise of Late Classic Maya jadeite carvers. Jade ear flares, such as these, are seen on numerous representations of Maya nobility and would have been worn with an ornate headdress and elaborate beaded necklaces.  Iconographic evidence exists that shows us that the entire Maya personage would have been covered in heavy Jade ornamentation, portraying the ultimate spectacle and display of status and rulership. 

Circa, 200-500 AD
Diameter: 1 1/4"

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Price: $2,450
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