Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
Exhibitions arrow History of Costa Rica arrow Pre-Columbian Gold
Pre-Columbian Gold

This exhibition enhances our indigenous people’s view on gold.  Its goal is to make people aware of the fact that, opposed to the current idea that gold is a valuable material due to its price (which has encouraged most tomb-looting), to them, gold had a spiritual value instead of a materialistic one.

This Room tour displays animal representations such as frogs, alligators, and birds.  Other objects were used for body decoration and rank distinction, so is the case of medallions called patenas (large golden discs hanging on the chest), necklaces, nose plugs, ear plugs, bracelets, and bells.  You will also see miniature figurines of shamans.

There are also objects brought by the Spaniards, such as rustic ceramics, a knife, and glass beads, which were all exchanged by gold.

Image Gallery

Moreover, you will learn about the techniques used to treat gold pieces:  casting and hammering.

Should you like to find out more information, we urge you to unload the attached document "Pre-Columbian Gold."

Brochure of the exhibition

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Panoramic views of 360 degrees

Wacth the Pre-Columbian Gold Room in 360 degrees. Require quicktime.

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