Pre-Columbian, Central Coast Peru, Chancay, ca. 1200 CE. Did you know that llamas were used to erect the ancient city of Machu Picchu? A terracotta figure depicting a llama standing on all fours. The Chancay peoples appreciated llamas for their utility as well as endearingly contrarian personality. The llama was the only domesticated animal of the ancient Americas that served as a beast of burden. This llama effigy is elegantly simple in form and decoration, covered with a cream-hued glaze. Its body assumes the shape of a sweet potato with one end turned up to represent a tail and the other extended to represent the head and neck. The cone-shaped legs are short by design, ideal for supporting this fragile ceramic form. The form is slip-decorated in cream hues with incised and modeled details. While this llama is far from a realistic interpretation of this animal, the artisan did care to indicate its male genitalia discretely represented on the underside of the piece. Size: 8" L x 2.25" W x 4.125" H (20.3 cm x 5.7 cm x 10.5 cm)
Provenance: private Baker collection, New Mexico USA
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