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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Chimu Art : Chimu Shark Effigy Trumpet
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Chimu Shark Effigy Trumpet - PF.1336
Origin: Northern Coast of Peru
Circa: 800 AD to 1200 AD

Catalogue: V5
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Additional Information: SOLD
Location: United States
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The Chimu culture arose around 800 A.D. and flourished until the Incan conquest about six hundred years later. Their civilization was centered at their capital Chan Chan, about 300 miles north of Lima, literally meaning “Sun Sun,” the largest Pre-Columbian city in Peru estimated to contain almost one hundred thousand citizens. The Chimu believed the sea, which they called “Ni,” was the origin of life, a theory also proposed by modern science and evolution. Thanks to their sea-faring skills, the Chimu were able to survive, nestled in between the desert and the sea. The sea was everything to them: an endless supply of food and the source of inspiration for their most imaginative myths, legends, and artwork. Agriculture was also vital, and the Chimu drew up a vast number of irrigation works demonstrating immense engineering skill, some of which are still in use today. Today, aside from the astounding mud ruins of Chan Chan remarkably well preserved in the heat of the desert, the Chimú are perhaps best known for their distinctive black glazed pottery influenced by their predecessors: the Moche.

The people of ancient Peru had a deep appreciation for the animals who shared their world. The fate of mankind frequently depended on the benevolent will of the beasts, who embodied the gods and spirits of nature. As in many cultures through the ages, the habits and characters of animals were identified with those of humans. Warriors especially sought to link themselves with fierce, swift, and strong creatures. This fascinating tubular object, one of a pair, depicts a shark with open jaws. It may have served as a kind of trumpet, used to amplify the voice on the battelfield. Its mystery adds to its appeal. Its exact function has been lost in the mists of time, but its power over the imagination is undeniable. L. 20.2cm(8IN) - (PF.1336)


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