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Lambayeque effigy vessel

Lambayeque effigy vessel
AD 900–1300
Chan Chan, La Libertad, Peru
27 x 18 x 31 cm

The Lambayeque, predecessors of the Inka on the northern coast of Peru, produced a distinctive blackware pottery. This extraordinary Lambayeque blackware vessel depicts an authoritative figure associated with several symbols of power. He has four fangs that curve outward from his mouth. Two snakes depart from the top of his head, and several pendants are hanging from his jaw. He holds two snakes that appear to be curling around the peaks of mountains. His belt also is a snake, and he has a stepped-diamond motif—usually associated with authority and power—on his chest. Above him are three cat-like heads. This vessel may depict an individual associated with a powerful mountain.

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