Peruvian ceramics are an amazing window into a very distant past. They show tattooed faces, ruthless traditions and unusual objects – all otherwise quite inaccessible since the people of the Andean region had no writing system before the arrival of the Europeans.
Most of the times, these objects have been found in tombs, but besides information concerning the buried individual, they offer an insight into the way these civilizations understood the universe.
Here’s an Inca peasant, displaying fascinating features, wearing his adorable chocolate-caramel striped shirt and flashing an axe on his shoulder.
Tattoos, scarifications, physical defects (such as the missing upper lip) and illness are recurring motifs.
Mountain scenes are believed to be common because this is the place inhabited by guardian spirits, where shamans are initiated, and where human sacrifices sometimes take place.
Peruvian ceramics also help puzzle out social hierarchy. This priest is wearing a striking monkey headband of which “a few actual examples have been excavated”, showing that “these depictions are realistic and accurate portrayals”.
And let’s not forget love, in all its shapes and forms, a subject that constantly occupied the inhabitants of the Peruvian coast.