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Double-Spout and Bridge Vessel with Flying Shaman

200 BCE - 100 CE
Precolumbian
6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm)

Unknown, Nasca
Peruvian

Object Type: Ceramics
Medium and Support: Terracotta with polychrome slip
Credit Line: R.T. Miller Fund
Accession Number: 1947.23
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

The Nasca inhabited the southern coastal valleys of Peru. They produced distinctive ceramics decorated with images of shamans, ritually severed heads, supernatural beings and a variety of animal and plant forms. Frequently using hallucinogenic drugs to induce visions, shamans were often depicted in a transitive state of being, possessing both human and animal characteristics. This vessel portrays a wide-eyed shaman in the midst of an ecstatic flight. The shaman is shown with the upswept whiskers of an otter and the body of a pampas cat, both of which live near water and were considered to be agricultural guardians.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

Provenance
Walram V. von Schoeler, New York; purchased from him in 1947 by the Gallery

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