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Tray for Hallucinogenic Snuff

Arts of the Americas

On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
Carved wood trays were used by ancient Andean people for the mixing of hallucinogenic snuff made from the pod seeds of the Anadenanthera tree. When inhaled through the nose with tubes, the snuff produced ecstatic trances that enabled shamans to communicate with spirits and ancestors. This carved snuff tray from northern Chile is decorated with two kneeling anthropomorphic foxes. The depressions in the eyes probably once held turquoise inlays. The figures’ pose and tunics decorated with incised designs suggest that they are supernatural beings.

Las tablillas de madera tallada eran usadas por los antiguos habitantes de los Andes para mezclar polvos alucinógenos hechos de las vainas y semillas del árbol Anadenanthera. Al inhalar a través de la nariz con tubos, el polvo producía trances extáticos que permitían al chamán comunicarse con espíritus y ancestros. Esta bandeja tallada para inhalar del Norte de Chile está decorada con dos figuras de zorros antropomórficos. Las depresiones en los ojos probablemente contenían incrustaciones de turquesa. La pose de las figuras y las túnicas decoradas con diseños incisos sugieren que se trata de seres sobrenaturales.
CULTURE Tiwanaku
DATES 400-1000
DIMENSIONS 2 1/2 x 1 11/16 x 6 1/2 in. (6.4 x 4.3 x 16.5 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE Designated Purchase Fund
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CAPTION Tiwanaku. Tray for Hallucinogenic Snuff, 400-1000. Wood, 2 1/2 x 1 11/16 x 6 1/2 in. (6.4 x 4.3 x 16.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 74.176. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE front, 74.176_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Tray for Hallucinogenic Snuff