Description An elderly person peers at the viewer from the body of this cup, the sides of his mouth flanked by deep furrows and the eyes ringed with wrinkles. These elaborate vessels were used for drinking the corn beverage chicha, particularly in ritual celebrations marking alliances, royal births, or funerary rites. Through their representations of patriarchs, Peruvian silversmiths enabled the ancestors to symbolically take part in these rituals. Sometimes the remains of forebears were physically present as well: caves in which the mummies of deceased rulers were kept were used as venues for elaborate feasts.
- Crowning Glory: Art of the Americas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2018.
Provenance The Merrin Gallery, New York; purchased by a private collection, 1990; given to Walters Art Museum, 2009.
Credit Anonymous gift, 2009
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