This is an EXTREMELY RARE associated set of two large and unusual crouching jaguar god buttons or appliques from the Pre-Columbian Chavin Culture of South America. Pre-dating the Moche Culture, many of the gods and imagery of the Chavin can be found to continue in the later Moche civilization. A dominant figure in this cult civilization was a jaguar man-god which was similar to deity worshipped by the Olmecs of Mesoamerica. The jaguar god was the primary deity of the supernatural world.
Never before seen like this magnificent pair, this is an original set of large button appliques made on thick carved pieces of shell. Original traces of red cinnabar are still evident. These two were likely large button fasteners on a cape or garment of a priest or shaman considering their extraordinary luxury in their day, as well as their supernatural origin. On the back, each one still has an intact drilling to fasten like a button to a garment. We have handled many unusual and rare items and this set is one of the most impressive, unusual and mesmerizing specimens we have encountered. With nearly identical theme and design of a crouching half human, half jaguar, these were most certainly found together and are in the finest, museum-grade condition.