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Staff head

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Cast metal alloy staff head in the form of a bird, perhaps a vulture. The lack of tranish and silvery color of the metal suggests an alloy containing tin and a small amount of gold. See 23.450 for a similar metal alloy.


According to a note in the file: from a river burial, lower Cauca River Valley, in the vicinity of Medellín, Colombia. with Walter Channing Wyman, Chicago(?), by 1923; to MFA, October 1923, purchased as part of a group of 8 pieces for $650.00.

Credit Line

Harriet Otis Cruft Fund

Zenú (Sinú), A.D. 500–1550

Object Place

Sucre and Cordoba Departments, Colombia


Overall: 4.5 x 2.1 x 4.5 cm (1 3/4 x 13/16 x 1 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gold alloy




Ritual Objects