This Ngäbe or Guaymí solid yellow gold frog zoomorphic figure is rare one of a kind.
Handcrafted by the Ngäbe or Guaymí people of Costa Rica in the 16th century.
The Ngäbe or Guaymí are an indigenous people within the territories of present-day Panama and Costa Rica in Central America. The Ngäbe mostly live within the Ngäbe-Buglé comarca in the Western Panamanian provinces of Veraguas, Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro. They also have five indigenous territories in southwestern Costa Rica, encompassing 23,600 hectares: Coto Brus, Abrojos Montezuma, Conte Burica, Altos de San Antonio and Guaymi de Osa.
Guaymí is an outdated name, derived by the Spanish colonists from the Buglere term for this people (guaymiri). Local newspapers and other media often alternatively spell the name Ngäbe as Ngobe or Ngöbe because Spanish does not contain the sound represented by ä, a low-back rounded a, slightly higher than the English aw in the word saw. Spanish speakers hear ä as either an o or an a. Ngäbe means "people" in their native language of Ngäbere. Ngäbere and Buglere are distinct languages in the Chibchan language family.
Ngäbe territory originally extended from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, though there was never an empire or a distinctive “Ngäbe territory”. Most Ngäbe lived in dispersed villages, which were run by chiefs and influential families. Few, if any, Ngäbe occupied the mountainous region in which they now live. They retreated to that area under pressure from Spanish colonists and development of low-lying areas.
Christopher Columbus and his men contacted the Ngäbe in 1502, in what is now known as the Bocas del Toro province in northwestern Panama. He was repelled by a Ngäbe leader with either the name or title of Quibían. Since that contact, Spanish conquistadors, Latino cattle ranchers, and the development of large banana plantations successively forced the Ngäbe into the less desirable mountainous regions in the west. Many Ngäbe were never defeated in battle, including the famous cacique Urracá who in the 16th century united nearby communities in a more than seven-year struggle against the Conquistadors. Those Ngäbe who survived on the outskirts of this region began to slowly intermarry with the Latinos and became part of what are now termed campesinos, or rural Panamanians with indigenous roots.