Museum Collections - Ancient Peru - Moche - Artifact #6

Stirrup vessel - Moche

WHO: Moche culture

WHERE: North coast, Peru

WHEN: Early Intermediate Period/Middle Horizon, A.D. 100-700

WHAT: To reflect the duality of their world, the Moche showed complementary opposites through images of land/sea, victor/victim, seashell/land snail, and wave/mountain.

This stirrup vessel hints at Moche beliefs in a world full of complimentary opposites. Here in one artistic example we see subjects from opposite realms - land and water - presented together: men in boats, a water image, on the same piece with jungle cats (on the stirrup), which reside on land. This pot features another set of complimentary opposites, forward and backward. Each man is shown paddling in the opposite direction from their partner.

HOW: Probably mould-made with cream-coloured slip on body with red slip painted details.

MUSEUM: Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. G83.1.166

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