Vessel in the Shape of a Figure

Vessel in the Shape of a Figure


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Earthenware with painted slip

Overall: 63.5 cm (25 in.)

The Jane B. Tripp Charitable Lead Annuity Trust 1992.231



This seated figure carries a stag over his shoulders, its antlers now missing and its tongue lolling out in death. That the stag is destined for more than dinner is suggested by the human's pursed lips--perhaps the kiss-like expression of reverence that the later Inka made when approaching a sacred shrine. The animal, then, may be an offering. The two bags painted on the figure's back may be for coca leaves, also very important for rituals. In comparison to earlier ceramics, the Chancay style seems less fine both artistically and technically. yet as this vessel proves, the best Chancay ceramics have appealing charm, in part because of their bold brown-on-white color scheme.

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