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Fox Runner Effigy Vessel

Arts of the Americas

The anthropomorphic fox on this effigy vessel wears a large disc headdress associated with the Ritual Runners, figures shown racing through the desert landscape in many examples of Moche art. Similar discs in gold and copper have been found in elite burials, suggesting that the Ritual Runners were a high-ranking group of adult males, possibly priests, who participated in special ceremonies throughout the Moche territory. Scholars believe that Moche priests consumed the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) to transform themselves into animal spirit helpers such as the fox.
MEDIUM Ceramic, pigments
  • Place Found: North Coast, Peru
  • DATES ca. 400–700
    DIMENSIONS 10 3/4 x 5 3/4 x 8 7/8 in. (27.3 x 14.6 x 22.5 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Eugene Schaefer
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Stirrup-spout effigy vessel depicting a seated anthropomorphic fox (fox runner) with a fox head and human body. The figure wears a large circular disk headdress, a woven belt, and wrist and leg ornaments. He grasps the headdress ties in his hands. Condition: good.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Moche. Fox Runner Effigy Vessel, ca. 400–700. Ceramic, pigments, 10 3/4 x 5 3/4 x 8 7/8 in. (27.3 x 14.6 x 22.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Eugene Schaefer, 36.332. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 36.332_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE 36.332_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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