Chimu / Pair of ear spools / 11th centuryChimu
Pair of ear spools
11th century

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Creator Name: Chimu
Creator Nationality: South American; Pre-Columbian; Chimu
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Name-CRT: Chimu
Title: Pair of ear spools
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1000
Creation End Date: 1099
Creation Date: 11th century
Creation Place: South America; Peru
Object Type: Costume and Jewelry
Classification Term: Gold
Materials and Techniques: gold
Dimensions: L.5 x W.5-3/8 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 43.4.1
Credit Line: The William Hood Dunwoody Fund

Dazzling body ornaments like these ear spools convey the authority of the wearer, probably a man of the upper ranks of ChimĂș society. The central figure on the ear spools themselves may represent such a man. He holds a kero (beaker), a symbol of power and identity used in many Andean religious and state ceremonies and burials. Mythical elements include the monkeys transporting him, serpent heads at the end of the litter, and two-headed felines engraved on the posts.

The central figure's crescent-shaped headdress, symbolizing the sun to Amazonian cultures, represents a crown of feathers traded from the Amazon region. Similar presentation scenes of rulers or deities appear in northern Andean (Colombian) gold work and in metalwork by people of the Lambayeque Valley, who shared the metallurgical skills with ChimĂș conquerors. In both imagery and material, these ear spools exemplify the spread of ideas and technology in South America.

AMICA ID: MIA_.43.4.1
Component Measured: length only
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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