There seems a link between Chavín religion and appearance of the Andes' first large, precious metal objects. Chavín perhaps introduced revolutionary innovations in metalworking to express the "wholly other" nature of its religion. Elites wore the ornaments as emblems of their ties to this religion and were eventually buried with them. These objects may come from the same group as two now in Washington, D.C.
The motif that repeats on these ear ornaments is a profile bird head with an upside-down serpent emerging from its brow.