Home > Art > Costa Rican Double Fish Pendant (Palma Del Norte type)
About the Object
This double-headed fish or shark pendant was carved and highly polished by the unknown ancient Costa Rican artist(s) from yellow-green jade. The two heads alternatively are carved facing up and down regardless of what way the object is turned. Meanwhile, teeth are visible while the eyes have been carved through, perhaps allowing the piece to be worn in antiquity. This likely would have been restricted to elite use.
This pendant is visually associated with what scholars call the Palma del Norte Type, from what is today the Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica. In the pre-colonial era, the archaeological division of Costa Rica falls into three style regions: the Guanacaste–Nicoya (northwest), the Central Highlands–Atlantic Watershed (east), and the Diquis (southwest), where this piece was most likely created.