1185–1275 (radiocarbon date, 95.4% probability)
Mixed media: wood, gold alloy, pigment, shell inlay
Overall: 60.4 x 95 cm (23 3/4 x 37 3/8 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1952.233
Cinnabar, a toxic mercuric sulfide, was used to color the red background and faces of the figures.
This rare, dramatic object served as the back support of a litter carried by human porters, a mode of transport reserved for honored members of many societies without draft animals or wheeled vehicles. The simple, bold figures—perhaps a Chimú lord and four officials—all wear wide collars, tunics, and crescent headdresses that are either brightly painted or covered with golden but now-corroded sheet metal. The holes at the bottom probably served as lashing points for a beam that supported the litter's seat.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.