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Lot 73, Auction 8/17/2017: Fine Moche Copper Tumi w/ Cargador

Pre-Columbian, Peru (North Coast), Moche Culture, ca. 100 to 700 CE. This is a small copper axe blade with a flared half-circle at the bottom. The top has a well-formed figure of a cargador, a person holding a basket by a strap around the forehead. This was the approved form of carrying heavy loads throughout the Andes for centuries. The edges of the blade are very slightly sharpened, but this object almost certainly served a votive function and was not used as a weapon or tool. They were sometimes used to sacrifice llamas to the Sun. The Paracas people, also from the Andes, used the tumi for trepanation; it is unknown if the Moche did similar, but could have been done. In modern Peru, a tumi on the wall is a symbol of good luck. Comes with custom stand. Size: 1.5" W x 5" H (3.8 cm x 12.7 cm)

Condition: Slightly encrusted, bright green patina.

Provenance: private Ventura County, California, USA collection

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