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Ceremonial Tweezers
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Ceremonial Tweezers

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Before undertaking a ritual to invoke the sacred, a holy person or ruler had to purify themself, inside and out. He or she might purge himself with laxatives, take saunas and ritual baths, and in some cultures, would remove hair from their faces or bodies. In Colombia, the contemporary Kogi people (who trace their ancestry to ancient peoples such as the Calima) frequently tweeze off their eyebrows before rituals. This may symbolize rebirth, recalling the scanty brows of infants. This golden object was likely both a decorative ornament and a functional tweezer, although probably it was used only in ritual performances.
  • The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
  • Going for Baroque. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995-1996.
  • Gold of the Ancient Americas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2015.
  • Transformation: Art of the Ancient Americas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2018-2019.
Provenance Tiffany & Co., New York; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1910, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1910, from Tiffany & Co.

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ca. 900-1100 (Pre-Colombian)
Accession Number
H: 7 1/4 × W: 4 13/16 × D: 9/16 in. (18.4 × 12.3 × 1.4 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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