Mochica culture has developed on the north coast of Peru between the first century and the ninth century AD. It is famous for its ceramics deposited in graves as offerings to the dead.
Their decor modeled and / or painted iconography shows a richness and variety greatly appreciated by art lovers. The price of a Mochica ceramics varies between € 500 and € 10,000. But of all the themes, sexual imagery is attracting the most attention.
The corpus of Mochica erotic terracotta can be divided into five groups:
1-The scenes of vaginal or anal sex: they involve either a female and one male, one female and one male skeleton, a woman and the god Ai Apaec (it is associated with war and human sacrifice).
2-male masturbation scenes: a woman or a skeleton is usually represented in the process of masturbating another skeleton
3-The scenes of oral sex: always between a man and a woman
4-copulations scenes of animals: dogs, toads, frogs, rodents, monkeys, snakes, llamas, deer, mountain lions, birds...
5-representations of the phallus and vulva: there are containers representing a woman, a man or a skeleton with an enormous sexual organ that serves as neck or spout, and the vessels which the cervix is an anthropomorphized phallus .
The price of those terracotta evolves according to their quality and their source (collector) and not their subject.
Mochica ceramics with sexual subject should not be perceived as pornographic. Indeed, representations of skeletons or divinity Apaec Ai are all signs of a religious conception of sexuality-related of death (ceramics come from burials), human sacrifice, war purveyors of sacrificial victims, with fecundity and fertility. However, it was hard to grasp the meaning of anal sex and masturbation...
Spécialiste en Arts Premiers
Que lire sur le sujet ?
BOURGET (S.), 2010, Sexe, mort et sacrifice dans la religion Mochica, Somogy Editions d’Art, Paris
GOEPFERT (N.), 2010, « Les seigneurs mochica : art, mort et sacrifice », in : Archeologia, n°2010
LARCO HOYLE (R.), 1965, Checan : essai sur les représentations érotiques du Pérou précolombien, les Editions Nagel, Paris
VERGARA (E.), 1990, La conception de la sexualité au Pérou ancien, in : Inca – perú : 3000 ans d’Histoire, Imschoot, Gand
© Museo Larco, Lima photos Daniel Giannoni et Steve Bourget
© Origine Expert, Lyon Rive Gauche