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Head Beaker

Head Beaker

900-1100

Gold, hammered

Overall: 23.5 x 19.8 cm (9 1/4 x 7 13/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2015.6

Description

Metalworking flourished among the Lambayeque people of Peru’s north coast. Artists made large objects, including containers, in unprecedented numbers; one Lambayeque tomb contained nearly 200 gold or silver beakers. The head on this beaker has been interpreted as the visage of either the culture’s principal deity—its divinity signaled by its feline-like fangs—or the deified founder of the Lambayeque ruling dynasty. It is not known why the head is upright only when the beaker rests on its rim.

See also
Collection: 
AA - Andes
Department: 
Art of the Americas
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork

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