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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Moche Art : Moche Stirrup Vessel Depicting a Healer
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Moche Stirrup Vessel Depicting a Healer - PF.1866
Origin: Peru
Circa: 200 AD to 600 AD
Dimensions: 6.875" (17.5cm) high
Catalogue: V5
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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This striking vessel offers a rare glimpse into Ancient Peruvian medical practice. A dignified, seated woman with one eye, lays hands on a sick man whose body appears covered with spots or sores. She seems lost in thought, as if curing the disease through sheer force of will. This wise crone, equal parts physician, faith healer, and witch, is a familiar figure in Moche art. Her image survives today in Peruvian folk medicine, in the notion of an aged spinster whose herbal positions can cure anything from toothache to a broken heart. It is difficult to say whether this vessel represents an actual healer or a symbolic figure like Hygeia, classical goddess of health. It reminds us that no matter what progress civilization makes, the larger issues of life and death remains fundamentally the same. - (PF.1866)


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