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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Chimu Art : Chimu Blackware Animal Effigy Vessel
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Chimu Blackware Animal Effigy Vessel - PF.4592
Origin: Chimu, Peru
Circa: 900 AD to 1200 AD
Dimensions: 8.5" (21.6cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The Chimu were inhabitants of the Moche valley near the modern city of Trujillo, one of the richest of the river valleys, and home of the Sun and Moon Pyramids of the Mochicas. They possessed an extraordinary talent for constructing superb roads and designing cities that were later imitated by the great Inca empire. Chimu ceramic objects were produced with the same efficiency that characterized their building skills; with an added aspect of fine artistry and clever invention. This handsome vessel is both an abstract work of art and a functional utensil. It is created in the shape of what is probably an Llama. Indigenous to the Andes this gentle animal is beautifully adapted to the climate and terrain. Its strong legs are cleverly shown on the sides of the vessel, designed in such a way they appear to be in motion. Around the nose appears to be a harness which suggests the Llama was ridden. There is delight and whimsy in this vessel's creation which was most likely intended as a kitchen utensil or for ritual burial. In either case, by seeing and touching it we come into closer contact with a race of noble builders and artisans that have since vanished from the earth. - (PF.4592)


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