Man and Llama Vessel
Llamas and alpacas have been the lifeblood of highland peoples since ancient times, providing fiber for clothing, hides for shelter and blankets, dung for fertilizer and fuel, and meat for sustenance. Llamas also continue to be used as pack animals and ritual offerings.
The importance of llamas is evident in this vessel, which may represent a shaman, or ritual specialist, taking a llama or alpaca to be sacrificed to Pachamama ("Mother Earth") or to the mountain spirits. Such ceremonies occur today during the planting and harvesting of crops in order to encourage a fertile season. The shaman, shown in an elaborate headdress and finely woven tunic, holds an ornate panpipe, or antara, whose sound imitates the animal's cries.
- Culture: Recuay
- Medium: Ceramic, pigment
- Place Made: Northern Highlands, Peru
- Dates: 200 B.C.E.-600
- Dimensions: 9 5/16 x 8 1/16 x 3 15/16 in. (23.7 x 20.5 x 10 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of the Americas
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
- Accession Number: 45.175.3
- Credit Line: Gift of Leo E. Fleischman
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Recuay. Man and Llama Vessel, 200 B.C.E.-600. Ceramic, pigment, 9 5/16 x 8 1/16 x 3 15/16 in. (23.7 x 20.5 x 10 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Leo E. Fleischman, 45.175.3. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Effigy vessel in the form of a human figure playing an ornate panpipe or antara, standing adjacent to a llama. The mouth of the vessel is located on the llama's back. Cream, white, red, orange and black slips embellish the surface. Condition: good; a top element of the headdress is missing.
- Record Completeness: Best (83%)