MOCHICA – Peru
200 – 450 A.D.
Height : 4.2 cm – Width : 1.9 cm - Depth : 2.7 cm
Copper with a green patina
Copper zoomorphic sculpture representing a seated jaguar, with both front legs uplifted.
The mouth is wide open and shows the teeth. The muzzle is large and the nostrils are marked. The almond-shaped eyes are hemmed and the rounded ears are raised. The tail is turned up and forms an “S”. The sex is erected.
The jaguar symbolizes the terrestrial and celestial strengths. It accompanies the sun in its diurnal and nocturnal path. It is considered as the first ancestor having the gift of clairvoyance. It also is the civilizing hero, depositary of fire and knowledge, which was given to the humans.
The Mochica culture has developed along the North coast of Peru, around the Moche and Chicama valleys, between 100 and 800 A.D. This civilization is a society characterized by a strong hierarchy, dominated by an aristocracy controlling the political, military and religious powers. From an artistic point of view, it is mostly renowned for its bright colored ceramics, but also for its high level of metallurgical technology