Ancient Forms for the Modern Eye April 2018 - Page 149

Moche Effigy Vessel of a Bird-man
Playing a Drum
Early Intermediate Period – Middle Horizon: 200 – 900 A.D.
Ceramic: Creamware with red paint
Overall: 9 1/2 x 5 3/4 x 8 1/2 in. (24.1 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm)
This is a stirrup spout vessel of an anthropomorphic bird playing a drum.
The almost vertical bird-like figure has a side glancing head with almond
eyes and long tapering beak. Overall the figure has a creamy tan base with
applied reddish-brown details, especially on the head and back. Fineline
vases sometimes depict processions of musicians, including supernaturals,
elaborately dressed humans and anthropomorphic animals such as this bird
drummer. The instruments include pan pipes, the quena flute, trumpets and
drums. The drummer is typically a bird as in this example. The same drum
appears on the fineline ceramics.
Bibliography: Johnson, Harmer, Guide to the Arts of the Americas,
Rizzoli, New York, 1992, pg. 120, fig. C.


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