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Moche IV Bichrome Stirrup Jar - Battle of Deities

Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche, phase IV, ca. 500 to 700 CE. Way before action hero and adventure movies, some of the best rivalries were depicted on Moche pottery. This bichrome stirrup vessel was mold-made and impressed with two panels that depict a pair of fighting deities who are dramatically duking it out. On the right is Ai Apeac (with his jaguar/tumi headdress, wild feline fangs, and serpent belt); on the left is another deity with an equally fierce headdress holding a tumi in his left hand and a severed head in his right. But Ai Apeac is grabbing his opponent's headdress with his right hand and wielding a tumi in his left, as if he is about to strike. In fact, this chief Mochica deity was also known as the decapitador, feared as god's headsman but also beloved as a creator god, provider of food, water, and military victories, and a great protector. A fabulous example with iconography that is as action-packed as an intense thriller flick. Think Clash of the Titans! Size: 5.625" W x 10.5" H (14.3 cm x 26.7 cm)

Condition: Stirrup reattached. Some surface wear with expected weathering, scuffs, and abrasions to slip.

Provenance: Ex-Private Ventura County, CA collection

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