PAST COLLECTION ITEM
Unique Peruvian intarsia art panel depicting the Raimondi Stele from Chavín de Huántar
This is a one of a kind folk art created by cutting pieces of dried calabash shell and laying them in a pattern on a wooden panel. It depicts the Staff God represented by the Raimondi Stele iconography from Chavín de Huántar in Peru. The stele is named after the Italian-Peruvian geographer and scientist Antonio Raimondi, who first documented the stele in 1874. According to Sarahh Scher's article (Complexity and vision: the Staff God at Chavín de Huántar and beyond," in Smarthistory, September 27, 2018.), the stele shows the god holding staffs composed of numerous curling forms. Beneath the god’s hands one can see upside-down and sideways faces, and the staffs terminate at the top in two snake heads with protruding tongues. The god’s belt is a compressed, abstracted face with two snakes extending from where the ears should be, perhaps substituting the snakes for hair, and turning the face with its snake-hair into a belt. The god’s hands and feet have talons rather than human fingernails, evoking felines and birds of prey. Staff Gods are thought to represent deities in Andean cultures of South America. The art panel is 57" tall, 21" wide, 1-1/2" deep and weigh about 20 lb. It is nicely framed. This item was acquired in Peru in the 1980's or before.
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