Description This "dipper" vessel was made by the Recuay, a north-central Andean people who were contemporaries of the Mochica. The potter used a resist technique (strips of wax or clay laid on and then they whole dipped in dye or slip, leaving the covered sections uncolored) to elaborate the outer surface with step fret designs (around the rim) and dragon-like animals on the body, alternating in orange and yellow, with a black background. This creature has been called the "Moon Monster" in the literature on ancient Recuay art, or a "crested jaguar" (G. Kubler, "Art and Architecture of Ancient America," 1993: 375) and is characterized by its feline features, toothy mouth, curled element on the nose, and the crest extending behind the head. Like many supernatural creatures in world mythology, the Moon animal is a composite of several animals. Similar dragons in Maya and Aztec art were related to the sun and the Milky Way.
Provenance Economos Works of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Private collection, 1991, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2009, by gift.
Credit Anonymous gift, 2009
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