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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Peru : Ceremonial Polychrome Beaker
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Ceremonial Polychrome Beaker - K.054
Origin: Southern Coast of Peru
Circa: 800 AD to 1400 AD
Dimensions: 7.75" (19.7cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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For thousands of years, in every part of the world, mankind has decorated objects and architecture with snarling and grimacing images meant to frighten away evil spirits. The early Greeks adorned their temples with gorgons, the Romans placed mosaic medusas on their floors, and gothic cathedrals used gargoyle spouts. This Peruvian vessel is decorated in the rich colors and bold geometry favored in the south. Its central image is of a deity whose bared fangs and wide staring eyes are meant to chase all things malevolent away from the beaker's contents. Very possibly this is Ai-Apec, chief God of the Ancient Peruvian pantheon, whose cult thrived for centuries. Even empty, we would hesitate to pick up this powerful vessel unless our intentions were pure. - (K.054)


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