Ancient Forms for the Modern Eye April 2018 - Page 75



II
Moche Owl Effigy Vessel
Early Intermediate Period – Middle Horizon: 200 – 800 A.D.
Ceramic: Buffware with red slip
Overall: 8 3/4 x 4 3/8 x 6 in. (22.2 x 11.1 x 15.2 cm)
In Moche art owls are represented realistically, as here, and
anthropomorphically in many roles. Throughout the ancient Americas, owls
were associated with death because of their predatory, nocturnal nature,
mournful voices and frequent habitation near cemeteries. For the Moche, the
owl was a supernatural warrior, protector of warriors, sacrificer of war
captives and bird that carried dead captives to the otherworld.
Provenance: William Stark, Seattle.
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