Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1500 Diquís chief
Subject: chief
Culture: Diquís 
Setting: Costa Rica 15-16thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

​"Among the societies of Central America, gold ornaments were important symbols of power and prestige that expressed authority and status in life and in death. Made to be suspended around the neck, gold pendants were still worn by local inhabitants of the Caribbean coast when Europeans encountered them at the turn of the 16th century. The Diquís archaeological zone on Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast became a major gold-working area after the technology diffused northward from the Northern Andes, probably about 300 to 500 CE. Goldsmiths of this region favored depiction of birds and animals of a dangerous or predatory nature, and craftsmen cleverly adapted the natural forms of totemic creatures to the functional demands of jewelry. Diquís art styles, both gold and ceramic, have much in common with those of the adjacent Chiriquí region of northwestern Panama—archaeologists often treat them together as the Greater Chiriquí subarea."

​* Precolumbian art from the collection of Paul L. & Alice C. Baker 1996 p41
"Fantastic deity figures ... are common in Costa Rican and Panamanian gold work.  They belong to a tradition of gold work that probably had its origin in Columbia and Ecuador. ...  Panama and the Diquis area of Costa Rica are so close they share not only a border, but gold working art styles as well."


​* Precolumbian art from the collection of Paul L. & Alice C. Baker 1996 p41 (describing a pendant with males figures, Diquis culture, 1000-1500)
​"The figures are nude except for belts at the waist.  They wear elaborate headdresses with gold spirals that fall to each side.  Large gold triangles rise from the headbands.  At their ears are gold spiral earspools, and they wear double nose ornaments."