Jar - 931.11.2_1



Maker: Nasca Culture
Geography: Nazca Valley, Peru
Date: 100 BC - AD 600
19 x 16 cm
Object number: 931.11.2
Not on view

Living on Peru’s arid coastal plain, the Nasca people were obsessed with agricultural productivity and the life-giving power of water. This vessel depicts what is known as the Anthropomorphic Mythical Being or, more evocatively, the Cat-Demon. The Being is depicted flying horizontally through the air with a feline mouth mask, club, trophy heads, dangling feet, and feathers. Some scholars suggest that shamans dressed like the Being in rituals, taking spiritual flight to ensure that rain fell from the skies. The style of the vessel suggests that it was made in the middle of the Nasca sequence, when villagers made regular pilgrimages to the pyramid-filled site of Cahuachi.

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