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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Moche Erotic Vessels : Moche Vessel Depicting an Ithyphallic Man with an Amputated Nose
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Moche Vessel Depicting an Ithyphallic Man with an Amputated Nose - K.002
Origin: Peru
Circa: 200 BC to 200 AD
Dimensions: 6.375" (16.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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Though Moche pottery openly celebrates sensual pleasure, there was a strong moral code within Moche society regarding acceptable sexual behavior. Certain practices and acts were forbidden, and offenders, if caught, were punished. Depending on the severity of the offense, punishment could range from flogging to death. Amputation and disfigurement of the face and limbs were common forms of marking criminals, and figures showing evidence of such punishment are not uncommon on Moche vessels. Running parallel to the uninhibited erotic trend in Moche art was a moralizing tone that warned against excess of any sort. It would seem that this unusual figure was guilty of some sexual offense. Though his nose has been cut away, his penis remains erect as if to remind us of his guilt. He regards the viewer with rather sad eyes, perhaps pleading for the understanding of a more enlightened society. - (K.002)


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