Bird-Shaped Container

Bird-Shaped Container

500-900

Wood

Overall: 8.4 cm (3 5/16 in.)

Edwin R. and Harriet Pelton Perkins Memorial Fund 1989.66

Location

Description

Peruvian Indians today regard coca leaf as a sacred substance that creates communion with deities. The leaves are chewed with powdered lime that in antiquity was stored in containers and scooped with spatulas like those seen here. Aside from its ritual meaning, coca has practical benefits: it is vitamin-rich and, like coffee, induces clear-headedness. The lizard spatula is Nasca; the other two are Wari.

See also
Collection: 
AA - Andes
Department: 
Art of the Americas
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Wood

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