black pot representing Corn God, surrounded by ears of corn; cracked

Vessel, 11th-15th century



The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  44.3.31

With roots in earlier Andean cultures, the Chimu practiced a polytheistic religion with the Moon God as the supreme deity. This vessel may depict the Corn God. Corn was a prevalent crop with sacred associations. It was fermented to make chicha, a frothy beverage consumed at ceremonial occasions and celebrations. Chicha and maize flour were also common offerings to departed relatives and to the gods. More than fifty varieties of corn are grown in Peru today, however, corn is not indigenous to the Andes region. First cultivated in Mexico 10,000 years ago, corn migrated to the Andes 3500-4000 years ago, where it remains a staple of Andean cuisine today.

8 in. (20.3 cm)
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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black pot representing Corn God, surrounded by ears of corn; cracked