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PERU

019 - Ithyphallic Man with Amputated Nose (original)
lt tc rt
lc Mochica rc
lb bc rb
DATE 200 BC - 200 CE (the original)
AUTHOR Unknown Moche culture Artist - Peru
MEDIA Terracotta vessel
SIZE 16,2 cm (6" 3/8) tall
LOCATION USA - California - Beverly Hills - Barakat Gallery
NOTES Though Moche pottery openly celebrates sensual pleasure, there was a strong moral code within Moche society regarding acceptable sexual behavior. Certain practices and acts were forbidden, and offenders, if caught, were punished. Depending on the severity of the offense, punishment could range from flogging to death. Amputation and disfigurement of the face and limbs were common forms of marking criminals, and figures showing evidence of such punishment are not uncommon on Moche vessels. Running parallel to the uninhibited erotic trend in Moche art was a moralizing tone that warned against excess of any sort. It would seem that this unusual figure was guilty of some sexual offense. Though his nose has been cut away, his penis remains erect as if to remind us of his guilt. He regards the viewer with rather sad eyes, perhaps pleading for the understanding of a more enlightened society.
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