**Originally Listed At $300**
Pre-Columbian, southern Peru, Paracas culture, ca. 600 to 200 BCE. A sweet hand-built terracotta vessel depicting a bicephalic serpent, its two faces delineated with round-bulging eyes, nostriled noses, and toothy frowns rather than smiles (unusual and endearing). Traces of red and yellow pigment remain on the eyes and teeth. Snake/serpents provide a fascinating element of Pre-Columbian iconography as they were regarded to be a beneficial source of nourishment and at the same time quite deadly with their poisonous venom. Also important to the indigenous was the fact that snakes shed their skin annually thus rejuvenating themselves and serving as symbols of renewal and good health. The existence of two snake heads on this piece may suggest the bicephalic serpent which was a signifier of high rank in various Pre-Columbian world views. Size: 4.375" L x 4.875" W (11.1 cm x 12.4 cm)
These two-headed beasts were regarded as sky bands that arched over the earth or surrounded the seas serving as a passageway for the planets and stars of the celestial realm. This motif decorated articles associated with individuals of high rank, thus associating them with the powers of this mighty creature.
Provenance: private Strunk collection, Maui, Hawaii, USA
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