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Drum with Head
Drum, Monkey Figures
Bowl with Birds
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 357
Ceramic drums with central, bulging sounding chambers were made in southern Peru at the turn of the first millennium. Among the most elaborately finished are those of Nasca style. They were surfaced with the many rich colors commonly used on Nasca ceramic vessels. A favored form was one in which a fat-bodied figure was worked into the shape of the instrument, the rotund body spreading out equally on all sides and the legs drawn up in the front. The figure is depicted atop the wide mouth of the drum, over which a skin would have been stretched. The image is symbolically complex; a snake emerges from under the figure's chin and a killer whale outlines each eye. The killer whales are in profile and show the "two-tone" color differentiation normally given them in Nasca depictions. A headband is wound around the head and tied to form a hornlike projection on the forehead. In back, the figure's hair is shown as serpents with long tongues.
[Pablo Soldi, Lima, Peru, until 1957]; Raymond and Laura Wielgus, Chicago, 1957–1964; The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1964–1978
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