Long before the arrival of the Europeans and others, Native people of Latin America had mastered many metallurgical techniques, including mining, hammering, and casting gold to produce jewelry, ornaments, masks, and other items. In ancient Latin America, gold symbolized power and spiritual wealth but was never used for money. Nasca smiths worked sheets of hammered gold to create miniature representations of traditional headdresses made of gold, feathers, and other materials. The Nasca mask jewelry is adapted from a hammered sheet-gold original found in Nasca, Peru, that dates to AD 200-800.
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