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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Jewelry : Mochica Gold Hollow-Core Corn Cob
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Mochica Gold Hollow-Core Corn Cob - FJ.5121
Origin: North Coast of Peru
Circa: 100 AD to 500 AD
Dimensions: 3.875" (9.8cm) high
Catalogue: V8
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Gold

Additional Information: 27.4 Grams/heather

Location: United States
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The Moche people of ancient Peru have been called the Greeks of South America, and with good reason. The rudimentary technical and artistic developements of earlier cultural styles achieved complete maturity in the Mochica phase. Rarely have any people at any time in human history created a more impressive picture of the variety of their daily life and of the gods they worshiped, than did the Moche people. The specialization of craftsmanship which began during the Chavin culture was developed further during this classic period, resulting in the evolution of an immense variety of special skills, the discoveries of the past forming the basis on which new techniques could unfold. This splendid artistic creativity and craftsmanship is brilliantly illustrated in this gold hollow-core corn cob, its simple form instilled with tremendous expressive power. Among other crops, corn was produced by the Moche in fields that were irrigated through the use of a highly competent system of irrigation, one which turned their river valley into fertile oases and assured the inhabitants of a plentiful food supply. Aside from turning their harvested corn into flour, the Moche also created Chicha, a type of beer made from fermented corn, consumed by the ancient Moche on ceremonial occasion. Perhaps then, this stunning golden ear of corn, pierced at either end, was worn by a priest as part of his ceremonial costume, suspended from his neck by a long cord. Or, it is possible that this symbolic work of art was originally woven onto a ceremonial headdress, for metal components formed an integral part of the elaborate headdresses worn during ritual ceremonies. Whatever its original function, this vibrant work of art remais today as a stunning example of the highly imaginative and expressive Moche culture, one which continues to cast its magic spell upon us. - (FJ.5121)


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