CERAMIC FELINE VASE
Stirrup vase with a handled bottleneck in molded, fine-grained red terracotta. This piece puts the zoomorphic attributes of the puma with its big ears and pointed teeth onto the body of a man, the knees bent. He holds in his hand a bag containing, most certainly, the hallucinogenic plants or mushrooms used by the shamans. The vase was probably completed by the neck and stirrup handle modeled separately, according to the traditional technique used in Moche pottery. Fed air by ceramic pipes, the open-fire oven gave the terracotta that characteristic varnished red color. Excellent state of preservation.
Moche art spread along the northern Peruvian coast, in the coastal oasis and on the foothills of the Andes, from 100 BC to 700 AD. It was an esthetic vocabulary for these people who had no writing, Moche art evolved with very distinct periods (from Mochica I to Mochica V). Frequently found in sepulchers, the stirrup vases or bottles could have been used in ritual ceremonies. The taking of hallucinogenic substances created a particular link between the shaman and the natural elements. The analysis of those vision permitted him to find an answer to the problems encountered by the community.