Pre-Columbian, Peru, Inca, ca. 1300 to 1520 CE. A large, finely carved alabaster canopa (votive offering) in the form of an alpaca or llama, with a deep, hollowed out hole on the back used to make offerings to Pachamama in order to ensure fertility and a healthy harvest. The opening would have been filled with tallow and the carving then buried in a field as an offering. Canopas were also regarded as prized personal items, carried by their owners as good-luck talismans. The body of the camelid is carved to have no legs, a large body, and a small, nub-like tail. Below the neck are long, carved flaps that are perhaps meant to reflect the fur of a real camelid but give it an exaggerated, stylized look. This particular example has a rich patina from age and handling. Size: 6.7" W x 3.75" H (17 cm x 9.5 cm)
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex Irwin Hersey collection
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