All pictures by Linda Landig at the Santo Domingo Museum, in Oaxaca city.
Oaxaca was one of the prime gold centers in what today is Mexico and south to Costa Rica. The gold used in pre-hispanic jewelry was not usually mined, but was found as pure nuggets in the river beds.
This bracelet is a lovely example of pre-hispanic chasing and repoussé.
Amazingly the pre-hispanic goldsmiths worked without iron tools or knowledge of the wheel. All the work shown here was created with stone hammers and chisels, obsidian knives and bone drills!
A notable characteristic of pre-hispanic Mexican jewelry is the quality of movement. This is most evident the the multiple pendants or fringes that are suspended at the centers of the necklaces, many of which end in "cascabeles" or little bells, which accentuated the movements of the priests during ceremonies.