This solid sterling silver huaca bird is a rare piece, reproduced from an original museum piece in South America, circa 1970. Our friend was a jewelry designer who traveled throughout South America to look for unusual pieces to incorporate into her work. She was given the privilege of having some iconic Pre-Columbian gold antiquities duplicated in silver.
The original huacas (pronounced waka) were found in Peru where they were made mostly of solid gold. The Indian artists who made them didn't think of these precious metals as riches but as sacred objects of divine origin. Gold symbolized the sweat of the sun. Silver was the tear of the moon.
This sterling silver huaca has a 24K gold wash. It's large and heavy.
Measures 6 inches across by 4 1/2 inches high. It's 1 1/2 inches deep. It weighs 172 grams. It was made with a loop on the back so it could be worn from a chain which we added. The chain is also sterling silver and strong enough to hold this massive bird...an eagle. The chain measures 18 inches.
Huaca history - In South America, a wak'a is an object that represents something revered, typically a monument of some kind. The term huaca can refer to natural locations, such as immense rocks. Some huacas have been associated with veneration and ritual. Pre-Columbian burials were done with all the person's belongings. These are also called Huacas and include pottery and in some cases, jewelry. So the word 'huaca' covers all these revered objects and places.
(The photo of the mystery woman is circa 1970s, taken at a New York antiques show where our friend was set up with a display of the huacas she had brought back from South America. The woman wanted to have her picture taken wearing this huaca.) She got the picture. You can get the necklace.
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Huge Solid Sterling Silver Huaca Eagle Bird Pendant Pre-Columbian Replica c1970
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