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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:Pre-Columbian; Nasca
Title:Doubled-spout bottle
Date Made:100–650; Early Intermediate Period
Type:Ceramic
Materials:Ceramic
Place Made:South America; Peru
Accession Number:  AC 1975.39
Credit Line:President Charles Cole Collection
1975-39.jpg

Description:
Two creatures with otter, feline, and human features

Label Text:
The body and tail of this creature resemble a Peruvian pampas spotted cat. The face, however, combines the upswept whiskers of an otter with ears and eyes resembling an ocelot’s.
2014

Similar to the Moche culture jaguar effigy vessel (AC 1975.34), this double-spout bridge handle jar is painted with an image that probably represents a shaman practitioner transformed into his feline co-essence. The human-like form of the head and its feline whisker mask (the white U-shaped form surrounding his chin and cheeks) are the visual clues suggesting this is a human transformed into his animal spirit companion. The Mead Art Museum has a number of fine examples of Nasca pottery that include feline-like warrior figures and shamans (AC C.1940.3). Displaying a few of these together would provide an excellent opportunity for art patrons to see the artistic variations/interpretations of this common theme.

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