Museum Collections - Ancient Peru - Moche - Artifact #3

Ceramic figure depicting a cat - Moche

WHO: Moche culture

WHERE: North-central coast, Peru

WHEN: Early Intermediate Period, A.D. 100-500

WHAT: Cats were important creatures for the Moche and many Moche ceramics show felines of several types and in various poses. The cat depicted on this vessel is probably a Pampas Cat (Oncifelis colocolo) which is a small, buff-coloured cat from the coastal desert. The man holding the cat is wearing a distinctive headdress. This headwear may be associated with feline powers as there are other Moche vessels with feline heads incorporated into the same style of headdress.

HOW: Mould-made and hand-modelled earthenware; white and red slip decoration

MUSEUM: Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. G83.1.163

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