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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Incan Art : Incan Greenstone Llama Effigy Vessel
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Incan Greenstone Llama Effigy Vessel - PF.1424
Origin: Highlands of Peru
Circa: 1200 AD to 1500 AD
Dimensions: 3.125" (7.9cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Greenstone

Location: United States
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For centuries the Llama has been the favored beast of burden in the Andes. As sheep and goats were the measure of wealth in Biblical lands, the Llama was a symbol of worldly status in ancient Peru. This graceful stone vessel, carved with a sure hand, captures the abstract essence of the beast. It was probably used by a person of rank to hold lime powder, an essential part of the Coca ritual. The stimulant Coca leaves helped give strength in the thin mountain air; lime facilitated chewing by preventing the mouth from going dry. The use of the Llama motif here may suggest that Coca will make men as strong and surefooted as the Llama. Removed from its cultural context, the abstract beauty of this piece still draws the eye and invites the touch. - (PF.1424)


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