Gold Amulet

In the inventory of 1891, this object is listed- among other objects from Mindanao - as an "amulet, made of gold." (1) Apparently it was cast in lost wax technique; back and front sides are identical and display snake and spiral motives. The two upward extensions probably were originally intended to look alike, representing bird heads. On one side the flow of the material was obviously disturbed and the form did not get filled perfectly; this explains the missing beak of the second bird head. Worcester presents an almost identical piece (1906, plate XXV, fig. 36) and remarks: "Peculiar broochlike ornament of solid gold found in the possession of a Benguet Lepanto Igorot woman of Suyok, Lepanto." The Ibaloi used to wash gold in the rivers of the region; particularly women were known for their skills. Gold was traded as dust, but also melted and cast into ingots.The mentioned "brooches" were found in the surroundings of Suyok (847). (Ursula Brandl-Straka 2009: 31)

(1) German original: "Amulet, aus Gold" (inventory 1891, MVW archives).

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