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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Chavin Art : Chavin Greyware Vessel Depicting an Ithyphallic Monkey
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Chavin Greyware Vessel Depicting an Ithyphallic Monkey - K.018
Origin: Northern Coast of Peru
Circa: 700 BC to 300 BC
Dimensions: 7.625" (19.4cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta


Location: UAE
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Description
The resemblance between man and monkey was often used to comic effect in Peruvian art. Monkeys are shown engaged in activities normally associated with humans, sometimes lampooning the weaknesses of society. On the simplest level, this unusual vessel depicts a monkey in a state of sexual excitement. To the Chavin culture that created it, however, there may have been subtle nuances of meaning. It may have suggested that in sexual matters man is little better than an animal. It may have been an icon of fertility, meant to appease the spirits of nature. It may also be a parody of an enemy captive, for the monkey wears a rope around its neck as prisoners often do. Rendered with a naive charm, this is an artifact that will continue to intrigue. Beneath its bold surface lie secrets hidden by time. - (K.018)

 

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