Bird Head Jade Amulet
Created in a lovely cut of deep forest green jade, this type of jade amulet is known as a herencia (which actually means heirloom, or inheritance in Spanish). The belief is that when the owner of this amulet died, his surviving courtiers, or family of the deceased, “killed” the amulet by purposefully splitting it down the middle, to be placed in the grave with the body, thus allowing the piece to pass into the next life whereby the owner would be able to keep taking advantage of the amulet’s supernatural powers as he did in life before his death.
Today, such pieces are popular among family, lovers and friends as one half is worn by one, and the other half by another wearer. This particular jade amulet, or herencia, depicts a shaman or chieftain’s visage, or mask, with a crown of crocodile heads – the crocodile being a venerated animal of the many waterways in and around this jade producing region of Guanacaste and the northern plains of the Atlantic watershed.
- Size: 4 cm long
- Central American jadeite
- 500 BC – 800 AD