The monkey figures prominently in the
iconography of Ancient Peru. In some instances,
the creatures are depicted with charming
naturalism; in others they are held up as comic
mirrors of human activity. For the Nazca of the
South Coast, the monkey God was a fierce and
powerful deity, responsible for maintaining the
balance of the cosmos. This delightful vessel,
from the transitional period between the Paracas
and Nazca styles, shows a plump-seated
monkey holding an offering cup. Though his
curling tale and ears identify him as a monkey,
there is an appealing human quality about him.
The pleasure he brings us bridges the centuries,
uniting us momentarily with the vanished world
that created him.