Pre-Colombian Culture, Fascination and Processes

Peru Moda 2013 655Tumbaga  is the name the Spanish gave to a gold and cooper alloy that the metal smiths Indians of America used.

Several pre-Columbian Cultures that were exceptional at working gold and metals as the Tolima, Tayrona or Quimbaya have left behind numerous pieces of work using Tumbaga in the creation of diverse ceremonial and decorative objects.

We believe that the use of Tumbaga, the cooper and gold alloy, allowed them a better rationalization of their resources to ease the  melting of the gold. Treatments to better the metal quality by heating it at high enough temperatures  to oxidase the cooper were utilized with regularity after which they submerged the piece in cold water to accentuate the golden patina and avoid cracks. The process was finished sanding the piece to perfection.

It is believed that a few of this techniques were developed by the Muiscas and exported to the Tayronas who were good metal workers and textile experts in their own right. The Muiscas had better quality of the gold in their work, but, it was within their fascinating imagery being considered as made with low dexterity, compared with the Tayrona who’s work were technically perfect. The Muiscas soon learned the lost wax methods to polish the esthetic of their work and abandon the hammering used up until then.

The richness of their designs have being replicated for generations and we carry many of the bests replicas; the closest to the originals that you may find.

Visit us to enjoy them and for the  opportunity to own your own.