Condition: Good condition
Object sold with a certificate of authenticity.
The large size of this sculpture and the base on which it rests indicate that it is a totem. These types of statues were generally installed near the residences and tombs of the Chimú elite as well as at the entrance to the sacred precincts. Carved on a stake or a long pole (absent here), they were planted deep in the sandy soil and guarding, like impressive sentries, at the places occupied by the caste of the powerful and on their graves.
Standing frontally on its base, our guardian adopts the fixed demeanor specific to Chimú statuary. This conventional hieraticism is accentuated by the angular style of the facial and body features which also constitute a characteristic of representations of ancient Peru.
At first glance, he holds in his hands what could be a flute known as QUENA, unless it is a KERO, a container used during rituals and ceremonies. As the schematization of the object prevents being able to decide with certainty, the two hypotheses are generally accepted.
Wearing a high quadrangular cap, with a flat top, the head is particularly important. There is a general harmony in this sculpture, the proportions of this man clearly favor this part of the body, which in itself measures the equivalent of the bust and legs. On the forehead, hidden by this imposing headgear, two horizontal projections identify a short fringe.
The face draws a perfect oval and its features, without naturalistic intention, are summarized in the essentials. The almond eye contour is plainly engraved. Slightly asymmetrical, these eyes are placed quite high under the forehead and attached to the nose, thus accentuating the surface of the cheeks and temples. The large and prominent nose is the only relief that really animates this impassive facies. From its base, start two fine and oblique lines. Descending to the jaw, they visually form a triangle in which is drawn a discreet mouth, barely ajar, which seems to be blowing. The ears are placed fairly low, on the same axis as the mouth, and resemble two half-moons.
The neck of our man is entirely occupied by a large tight necklace, resembling a collar, and freeing the head from the rest of the body. This is followed by angular shoulders and straight arms attached to the bust. The artist did not give relief to the biceps but on the other hand he brought out the forearms, folded in an oblique position on the torso, as well as the joined hands and the cylindrical object that he holds straight in the axis of the body. The fingers are long and wide, symmetrically arranged on either side of the knuckles, and their ends are sharply truncated.
The artist did not detail the clothes of this character. There is, however, under the forearms, the outline of a loincloth. The legs, slightly bent, are well separated from each other. The feet, finally, are wide and the toes marked by gashes.
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