Museum Collections - Ancient Peru - Moche - Artifact #5

Polychrome stirrup vessel - Moche

WHO: Moche culture

WHERE: North coast, Peru

WHEN: Early Intermediate Period, A.D. 300-600

WHAT: Polychrome stirrup vessel. Relief decoration depicting the major Moche deity. The artistic representation of this god is quite consistent. He usually has fangs, wears a belt made of serpents, has feline imagery on his headdress and is often portrayed in combat with a sea monster.

On this vessel we see all of those elements. Here, the sea monster is manifested as a crab-like creature with human legs. The wave motif which borders the scene depicted adds further maritime iconography.

HOW: Mould-made. Cream-coloured slip on body with red slip painted details.

MUSEUM: Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. G83.1.168

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