Colombia is a republic that lies in the north-western corner of South America, with coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. A land of mountains where the best coffee in the world is grown, it has an immense variety of landscapes, from jungles and deserts to fertile valleys and hot coastal plains. Colombians are equally diverse in terms of their culture, accents and origins. The Native American Indians considered gold sacred and a symbol of life. Gold was like the life-giving rays of the sun, which the Native American Indians regard as their father. The Europeans, on the other hand, saw gold as material wealth and sought to accumulate it as a source of power.
This exhibition takes us on a journey through the various regions of Colombia and into the country’s pre-Columbian past, when indigenous communities mastered the art of metalworking. They produced shiny ornaments that identified their leaders, who wore them hanging from their ears and nose, on their chest or their hands. Each item made by these metalsmiths 500 to 2,000 years ago is unique and a treasured masterpiece.
Thumbnail Image: Anthropomorphous pendant, Calima-Malagana Region, Yotoco Period, 200 BCE-1300 CE, <W25 x H59 mm, Goldwork, Lost-wax casting in gold, Colombia, Valle del Cauca, Restrepo
Inner-page Image: Lime container in the shape of a fruit, Mid-Cauca (Quimbaya), Early Period, 500 BCE-700 CE, W114 x H235 mm, Goldwork, Lost wax casting with core, in tumbaga, Colombia, Antioquia, Angostura