Bi-national News from Colombia "Sacred Gold; Pre-Hispanic Art of Columbia"



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"Sacred Gold; Pre-Hispanic Art of Columbia" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 13:37

Sacred Gold: Pre-Hispanic Art of Colombia from the renowned Museo del Oro in Bogotá, Colombia includes over 200 gold figures and ornaments full of expression and inventiveness inspired by the natural environment and by supernatural visions. A selection of ceramic tomb figures and stone tools accompany the exhibition.

After their return from the highlands of Colombia, Spanish conquistadors described incredible ancient rituals and a sophisticated culture whose elite and commoners alike were covered from head to toe in gold ornaments. These accounts fueled rumors of El Dorado, the lost City of Gold, sought continuously by conquistadors and explorers for hundreds of years. Though such a city never existed, the gold ornaments, figures and vessels of an ancient culture of “golden people” have been found in abundant quantities. For these people gold held no monetary value, it was a gift from the sun, and like no others they expertly crafted figures of spirits, animals and humans that communicated their understanding and philosophy of the universe and all that existed within it. Today, these extraordinary works of art are considered marvels of ancient America and the national treasures of Colombia.

For more than 2,000 years the diverse cultures living deep within the highlands and along the coasts of Colombia perfected metalworking technologies still practiced today. Crafting gold into ornaments for adornment and for ritual offerings, they captured the astonishing detail, complexity and beauty inspired by the riches of the natural world around them. Sacred and symbolic animals, spirits and humans were represented singularly and in marvelous combinations with the purpose of visually communicating a sophisticated understanding of the universe and everything within it. The arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century brought attention to a “golden people” adorned from head to toe in gold ornaments and gold powder, thus fueling the myth of the lost city of gold – El Dorado, and bringing an end to one of the most extraordinary epochs of American art.

More informations…
Bowers Museum,
2002 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, California


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