The Lambayeque people lived on Peru's north coast, a crucial center for metallurgical innovation in the New World. Early north coast cultures excelled in creating exquisite, small personal ornaments. Metalworking exploded among the Lambayeque and artists began to make very 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.