The main source for this reconstruction is a tunjo. Tunjos were also accessible to commoners, and often were used to represent all kind of social classes. Therefore, it’s likely that the said tunjo doesn’t depict a cacique, but rather an uta or sybyn (capitanes of high and low rank).
Thank you for this interesting comment.
You are right, metal fulfilled a fundamental role in the religious world of the Musicas and the legend of El Dorado was always in my mind when I painted this. I decided not to use the famous votive raft (staging the ceremony of El Dorado) as a model for the reconstruction as there are many ceramics demonstrating that the Muisca also wore great amount of metal ornaments on other occasions. This is also confirmed by the Spanish chroniclers. There are so many achievements of the Muiscas which are fascinating: They perfected weaving techniques, colouring their fabrics with mineral and plant pigments. They used mummification, had tejuelos which functioned as a sort of money, and practiced long distance trade. I wished I could paint more of them.
Thank you so much for your interesting comment. It’s always welcomed.