Pre-Columbian, Central Coast Peru, probably Huari / Wari, ca. 700 to 1000 CE. A large and rectangular copper palette used for preparing and combining hallucinogenic materials intended for consumption. The palette has four squat legs on which one platform rests, and a second platform extends from one end. Both sides have raised edges to prohibit spillage of any materials, and the undersides are both recessed, with one displaying a small piece of textile material. The use of psychotropic substances was rather common in Pre-Columbian societies. Shamans used hallucinogenic cacti, plants, and mushrooms in order to induce altered states of consciousness during religious ceremonies and healing rituals - a tradition which modern-day shamans continue. Typical Huari drug palettes are made from either wood or stone, so a copper example is quite uncommon. Size: 9.25" L (23.5 cm).
The Huari/Wari culture began to develop during the late Moche era. This culture, centered on a capital to the south of Moche territory in the central highlands of Peru, rose as the Moche culture fell apart and before the Chimu asserted themselves on the north coast. They had extensive contact with other regions in the Andes, most notably the Tiahuanaco in present-day Bolivia, and the Nazca and the Pachacamac on the south and central coast of Peru. Hence there is no homogenous Huari style.
Provenance: private Andrade collection, New York, New York, USA, acquired in the 1960s; ex-Knoedler & Company, New York, New York, USA
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Expected age-commensurate surface wear, bending to sides and overall form, small nicks and chips to peripheries, feet, and platforms, with some discoloration, otherwise intact and very good. Nice earthen deposits as well as green and brown patina throughout.