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Male shrine figure
Male shrine figure
1100–1400 A.D.
Not on display
Algarroba Wood, Red Cinnabar
53 1/8 x 7 1/2 (135 x 19 cm)
Object Type:
South America
Chimu Culture
Accession Number:
Acquisition Date:
Credit Line:

Museum purchase, William H. Noble Bequest Fund

The Chimu kings were warriors, conquerors, and great architects. Burials of high-ranking individuals were extraordinarily rich with tombs containing objects of gold and silver. Although Chimu pottery has been found in great quantity, objects of wood are comparitively rare.

Shrine figures may have been carried with Chimu kings in ceremonial processions or the undecorated bottom section might have been planted in the ground at a shrine; This particular example stands poised, ready to play a flute. The red cinnabar on the face suggests a funerary context. The rippled headdress, necklace, earflares, and zigzag loincloth together form geometric patterns that echo the architectural reliefs found at Chan Chan, the capital of the Chimu kingdom and the largest city ever built in ancient Peru.

Contemporaneous Works “Art from the same century and country”

Coca bag (ch'uspa)
Coca bag (ch'uspa) (ca. 1100–1500)
Effigy beaker
Effigy beaker (1100–1200)
Textile fragment
Textile fragment (ca. 1100–1400)
Miniature coca bag
Miniature coca bag (ca. 1100–1400)