Ceramic and slip
Overall: 19.7 x 15.5 x 16 cm (7 3/4 x 6 1/8 x 6 5/16 in.)
Weight: 520 g (1.15 lbs.)
Gift of John and Agneta Solomon 2014.375
Moche potters were skilled at producing charming images using only red and white slip.
Sea lions commonly appear in Moche art as effigy vessels, like this appealing pup, or in complex scenes that often show them as the targets of human hunters. They may have been prized in part for the beach pebbles found in their stomachs; modern Peruvian folk healers consider such pebbles to have powerful medicinal qualities. Also, colonial-period natives believed that sea lions carried the dead to off-shore islands, an idea that could date to Moche times.
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