Pendant in form of a bat created with open back casting technique with core extracted. Figure has outstretched, bifurcated wings, small erect pointed ears, round protruding eyes, long, flat snout with curled nostrils; smiling, open, fanged mouth with long tongue unfurled onto abdomen; feet at bottom of figure, each with four curled claws. Narrow loop of gold across back for suspension of pendant.

Bat Pendant

Veraguas culture, or Chiriqui culture, Pre-Columbian

900 - 1500

People of considerable wealth or power would have worn gold objects. Animal figures had great symbolic importance in ancient Central America and sometimes represented shamans—spiritual practitioners who harnessed the power of animals and interacted with nature and the spirit world. Gold was worn not only by the living but also by the buried dead.

The long tongue may identify this bat as a species that drinks nectar from flowers.