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Anthropomorphic gold figurine

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Inca gold figurine

Dated: 1400-1532

Cultural Context: Inca.

Origin: Department of Cuzco (Peru)

Medium: Gold

Technique: Rolled, welded, embossed, inlaid

Dimensions: Height = 6.6 cm; Diameter = 1.5 cm

Inventory no.: 07461

A hollow male figurine made of gold. He has large, dangling ears with a pierced lobe and a small lump in his cheek indicating that he is chewing coca leaves. One of his feet has a spike for attaching the figurine to a stand. This type of figurine belongs to the typical class of votive images used in the ritual offerings made to different huacas, or sacred sites. They were also thrown into lakes and buried under public-sacred enclosures. They were likewise part of the child sacrifice rituals called capacochas performed to the apus, or divinities, and could even be used in funeral rites. These figurines would originally have been dressed in woven and feathered garments. Both this figurine’s pierced ears and its headpiece, known as a llauto, were symbols of nobility.