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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Moche Art : Moche Ritual Vessel Depicting an Eagle Warrior
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Moche Ritual Vessel Depicting an Eagle Warrior - PF.1423
Origin: Northern Coast of Peru
Circa: 1 AD to 200 AD
Dimensions: 10" (25.4cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta


Location: United States
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Description
Since time began, societies throughout the world have ascribed the nobler traits of animals to men. Those respected by their peers are said to be brave as lions, swift as hawks, or strong as bulls. Among the Mochica, the warrior class almost always identified themselves with creatures of the wild. This striking vessel depicts a victorious eagle warrior holding aloft his bat enemy by the hair. The pot itself was probably intended as a warrior’s tomb offering, imitating vessels in everyday use. In Moche iconography, the bat is sometimes associated with the forces of death and the underworld. This powerful scene might therefore be interpreted as a triumph over death. The passage of time has no way diminished the impact of the image: we are transported to a world where the fantastic is a fact of life. - (PF.1423)

 

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