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Lip plug or ear ornament

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Spool-shaped adornment inserted into either the lower lip or an earlobe. Two hourglass-shaped perforations through the center of the spool may facilitate wearing the adornment. One of a group (1975.238-1975.243).


Collected by Joaquin Arciniégas, Colombia, by March 1, 1906 (to San José, Costa Rica by May 23, 1908; to San Salvador, El Salvador by June 19, 1916); sold to Doctor Daniel Villatoro Rugama, San Salvador, El Salvador, August 6, 1929; sold to Oliverio Girondo, Paris, January 10, 1930 (to Argentina probably after 1946); with Leon Buki, Buenos Aires, Argentina by January 2, 1975; with Alphonse Jax, New York, by February 1975; to Landon T. Clay, Boston; to MFA, March 12, 1975, gift.

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay

Tairona, A.D. 1000–1530

Place of Origin

Magdalena Department, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region, Colombia


1.2 x 1.8 cm diameter (1/2 x 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gold alloy




Jewelry / Adornment, Earrings, Flares, Plugs, Studs