Guanacaste-Nicoya Jade Mace Head in the Form of a Harpy Eagle - PF.2169
Origin: Western Costa Rica
Circa: 300 BC to 300 AD
Dimensions: 4.625" (11.7cm) high
Catalogue: V6
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Guanacaste-Nicoya
Medium: Jade

The sharp curving beak and outlined eyes of this splendid bird identify it as a harpy eagle, a creature of magical significance in ancient Costa Rica. Because it was solitary, powerful, fierce and all seeing, the harpy eagle was often associated with chieftains, shaman, or magic men. Ceremonial mace heads, derived from weapons of war, were symbols of worldly power and status. Carried atop shafts of wood, they were the insignias of persons of rank and power. Very likely this superbly carved eagle was the property of a mighty chief or sorcerer, carried on ceremonial occasions. Even across the barriers of time and culture, there is no mistaking its aura of strength and authority. - (PF.2169)