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Detail of Chimu staff

Chimú staff (detail)
AD 800–1400
Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru
78 x 6 cm
Presented by Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Sackler

Elite members of Chimú society carried staffs, symbols of power and prestige. Individuals holding staffs are often depicted on textiles, embossed on gold, or rendered on sculpted pottery. This staff shows a leader on top but, interestingly, the figure is depicted with no animalistic features. Animal elements, such as fangs, are often found in ancient Andean representations of leaders.

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