Exploring the Past, Engaging the Future

Shell Skull, Taino, 500-1500 AD, Lesser Antilles (Antigua).

This elegantly carved shell is a representation of the Arawak dog god of the dead, "Opiyel Guabiron," Holes drilled on the sides allowed it to be suspended as an amulet. Shell was a favorite medium for Antillean artists because of its abundance, natural beauty, and suggestive shapes. (Courtesy of the Jay I. Kislak Foundation)