2008/08/03

A visit to the museum

A few days ago we visited the Museo de la Nación, here in Lima.

How many birds can you find?

We found a lot of things that were not from the past, but used today; especially in the Andes. One example: MASKS.


Masks have been used for centuries in all sorts of ceremonies, from religious to entertainment; with different shapes, colours and materials. Some of them represent animals, others represent devils (it is a recurring theme - the fight between good and evil) and some are reminders of the mockery by Peruvians of the early Spanish 'conquistadores'.


My favourite piece on this wall was the following... Can you guess why?


But I have to admit that I love ancient pieces and all things related to history, so, when I found the next piece I was very excited. I've seen similar pieces in the past, but finding it among all those 'modern' items made me enjoy it even more.

It is a 'Huaco Retrato' from the Mochica Culture , a representation of an owl.

This civilization flourished in northern Peru from about AD 100 to AD 800 (relatively new compared to others from over here)

They are particularly noted for their elaborately painted ceramics, gold work, monumental constructions (called 'Huacas') and incredible irrigation systems. Their culture was sophisticated and their artifacts document their lives with detailed scenes of hunting, fishing, fighting, sacrifice, sexual encounters and elaborate ceremonies. This one is from the early years, not yet perfected.


Mochicas pottery is some of the most varied in the world. The coloration of Moche pottery is often simple, with yellowish cream and rich red used almost exclusively on elite pieces, and with white and black used in only a few pieces. Seeing them with your own eyes is incredible.

If you are interested in history too, and you want to see pieces of stunning pottery, jewelry, stone works, etc. I recommend a visit to Museo Larco, you won't regret it.

4 comments:

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Brilliant photos. I love folk art.

RuthieJ said...

That looks like a wonderful museum. Do you know if owls were good or bad symbols for these ancient peoples?

Sekhar said...

MUSEO LARCO Seems like an interesting place. Thanks for taking me there through those wonderful photos :)

Born Again Bird Watcher said...

I really like the owl mask.