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Shell effigy staff head

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Staff head in the form of a shell. Object is filled with carbonized casting core material.


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

Object Place

Sitio Conte area, Magdalena Department, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region, Colombia


4.2 x 5.2 cm (1 5/8 x 2 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cast gold




Ritual Objects