Ancient Forms for the Modern Eye April 2018 - Page 125

Chimu / Inca Paccha of a Parrot
Biting an Oval Fruit
Late Intermediate Period – Late Horizon: 1470 – 1530 A.D.
Ceramic: Grayware
Overall: 6 3/8 x 11 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (16.2 x 29.2 x 8.9 cm)
Height on base: 8 in. (20.3 cm)
Pacchas were ceremonial vessels usually made of wood or clay. They are
believed to be a late development, indigenous to the north coast, and were first
made by Chimú craftsmen. They enjoyed great popularity in the Inca era and
the motif of a parrot biting a fruit was common. The bird has large concentric
ringed eyes and the oval fruit has skin marked with a fine chevron pattern.
Pacchas were filled with chicha (maize beer), consumed by the nobility, and
then poured on the earth to ensure fertility and the growth of plentiful crops.
Provenance: Sotheby’s New York, May 17, 1994 (lot 261).


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