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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Huari Art : Huari Carved Bone Lime Container
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Huari Carved Bone Lime Container - PF.2284
Origin: Central Highlands of Peru
Circa: 750 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 4.625" (11.7cm) high
Catalogue: V11
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Bone

Location: United States
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This stunning carved bone container exudes a dynamic energy and spirit that belies its small size. Used for storing powdered lime, the Indians dabbed the lime, which adhered to the bone wand of the container onto coca leaves, the lime bringing out mild narcotic effect of the coca. When chewed by the native highlanders, the coca leaves slowed their metabolic rate which helped to temper the rigors of living at the over- 12,000 foot high altitudes of the Andes mountains. Functional works of art such as this gave evidence to the incredible creativity and craftsmanship that formed an integral part of Pre-Columbian Peru. Here the craftsman has artfully captured a masked figure in arrested motion--kneeling on his left knee, the right leg bent, the figure raises a Llama onto his back and is now about to stand. His mask evidences a mystical power through its fierce, wide-eyed expression. A skilled and sensitive sculpting of the parrot's beak and body perched atop the headdress ads a spirited energy that at once enhances the power of the mask. The figure grasps his Llama by the legs with deftly carved hands, the animal’s carved hooves adding an element of design balance and proportion. The native dress is deftly carved on the figure to reveal exquisite geometric patterning. As the Llama's expressive face looks out onto the world, so we look at this wondrous work of art, appreciating and feeling the duality of harmony and dynamism that is both seen and sensed in this Ancient Peruvian masterpiece. - (PF.2284)


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