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Double-Chambered Spout and Bridge Vessel with Llama or Alpaca Head

1350-1470
Precolumbian
6 x 8 3/4 in. (15.2 x 22.2 cm)

Unknown, Chimú
Peruvian

Object Type: Ceramics
Medium and Support: Blackware
Credit Line: R.T. Miller Fund
Accession Number: 1946.24
Location: Currently on view
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Double vessels are typical of Chimú ceramics and were valued for their musical component: blowing into the spout produces a whistling sound. When filled with liquid the vessel can be made to whistle by itself by tipping it back and forth, thus forcing air from one chamber to the other, causing the whistle to sound. Here the whistle is incorporated into the head of a llama or an alpaca. Prized as a source of food, fiber and transport, they were valuable and essential animals and frequently depicted in the art of the Andean region.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

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