Alpaca or llama hide, human hair, pigment, cotton; coca leaf contents
Overall: 26.7 x 23.2 cm (10 1/2 x 9 1/8 in.); Bag: 26 cm (10 1/4 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2011.35
This remarkable bag was used to carry coca leaves.
The face on this remarkable bag is decorated with geometric designs that also appear on Wari warrior representations; the circles on the panel beneath the face may refer to an elite tunic made of tie-dyed cloth. The bag was used to carry coca leaves, which in the past and today have important practical and religious purposes in the Andes. Chewing the leaves during physical exertion improves stamina; when used ritually, the leaves initiate communion with cosmic forces.
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