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Photo Credit: © Dumbarton Oaks, Pre-Columbian Collection. Photography by Joseph Mills.

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Tubular Bead

Maya, Classic, general
200-900 CE
2.22 cm x 0.64 cm (7/8 in. x 1/4 in.)

Not on view


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Tubular jade beads were used in ornaments worn by rulers and other high-status individuals, and this one could be employed singly, as pendant, or combined with other beads to form wristlets, anklets, and necklaces. As parts of earflare assemblages and headdresses, tubular beads varied in their sizes and forms and were apparently not produced as pairs or sets.
This small bead has circular cross section and was perforated biconically with small holes in it center, suggesting a thin thread was used for suspension.

Pillsbury, Joanne, Miriam Doutriaux, Reiko Ishihara-Brito and Alexandre Tokovinine (EDS.) 2012 Ancient Maya Art at Dumbarton Oaks. Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks, Number 4. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., p. 270-271, pl. 49 (right), fig. 157 (right).

Exhibition History
"Indigenous Art of the Americas", National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, September 1960 to July 1962.

Acquisition History
Purchased from Robert Stolper, New York (dealer), by Robert Woods Bliss, 1956.

Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, Washington, DC, 1956-1962.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Pre-Columbian Collection, Washington, DC.

Bead | Mayas