RARE FUNERARY POST, GRAVE KEEPER CHIMU
CULTURE, NORTHERN PERU
INTERMEDIATE RECENT, 1100-1450 A.D.
Wood with dark brown patina and red pigment
H. 119.7 cm - W. 20.6 cm
Chimu standing figure, brown wood with red pigment,
Peru, H. 47 1/8 in - W. 8 1/8 in
Provenance: Private American
Acquired by the present owner in 1995
Gail Martin Gallery, New York "Wood carvings had many other functions, the most spectacular being that of guardian of sacred places. Among these, the most striking are the Chimú wooden figurines from the Rivero neighborhood in the great walled city of Chan Chan. Part of their role as grave keepers was to produce an effect of fascination. Until the 1940s, such grave keepers could still be seen in situ in the most remote areas of the southern coast of Peru. Still standing after centuries of being used to mark the location of a grave, their tops protruded into the desert sands."
James Reid, Tribal Art, number 7, summer 2004.
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