The #British Museum opened its doors to the exhibition ‘Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia’. The once lost heritage acquired much attention for its reputed art works, which unlike those of their #European counterparts were not stone sculptures or painted frescos but gold artefacts.
Contrary to popular belief, El Dorado (Spanish for ‘golden one’) was not originally a city but a chief from the Muisca tribe. In an initiation ritual he covered himself in gold dust, subsequently baptising his location as the Lost City of Gold.
Latin American, particularly Colombia, have always placed great value in the power of the supernatural. Golden animal works were not just for aesthetic #pleasure but had symbolic value too. Think back to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ – the iconic tale bases itself on the history of #Columbia, weighing heavily on #supernatural influences in addition to the pivotal role of animals in the making and destruction of the #country.
These works of art from #Columbia connote the #spirituality of the country’s heritage and culture, merging life, death and the afterlife, riches and poverty, people and animals, all of which are encircled within a strong, mystical, almost golden higher power.