Sensuality and fertility in the Mochica erotic pottery


The big Moche or Mochica culture, a fusion of cultures Cupisnique, Salinar and Viru; have records between I and VII centuries a.C., occupying a territory that stretched across much of the northern coast of Peru, covering the current departments of Ancash, Lambayeque and La Libertad, in the valleys of Chicama, Viru and Moche. The Mochica culture was maked by the ceramics more sculptural of pre-Columbian America. Men, gods, animals, plants and complex scenes of daily life, were represented in red on cream, although exceptionally used some orange tones and few smoky black transparent.

For the Mochica worldview the sexuality was part of their daily lives, it allowed them to come into contact with the creative nature of life; is well represented in various scenes pottery of sexual activity. The first findings with those features were developed by cultures Viru and Salinar between 500 and 800 b.C., reappear later, and reached its peak at the height of the Mochica culture.

Several analysts agree that this seemingly erotic art does not display a process that necessarily leads to reproduction. Among the many acts represented by the Mochica artisans, also highlight the copulatory scenes heterosexual, various forms of masturbation, fellatio and sodomy homosexual. There are also some huacos anthropo-phallic and vulvar-morphs, in many of these huacos have particularly emphasized the clitoris and exaggerated phalluses in size, acquiring an aura of power and domination; so one might infer that this culture was sex from the perspective not only reproductive but also as a source of pleasure.

These sexual representations are not only referring to men, also cover the animal and plant, with diversity of representations of toads, frogs, dogs and squirrels. Probably seek a balance cosmogonic based on a central idea of reproduction or fertility, which neither men nor animals nor plants are exempt. Rebeca Carrion C. on “Religion in ancient Peru,” says “were inspired by the indian vital  desire to obtain  food abundance of its core activity, agriculture.”

If you captured the image of the gods in the sexual act, faithful correspondence and similarity of the human act, we would be invoking the consequent benefits of this action as the fertilization of the earth goddess by the rains sent by the god of sky or sun god, both personified as a woman and man.

Sex in ancient Peru was clearly associated with the fertility of the land. Federico Kauffman-Doig says that “human sexuality and sexuality in nature was high, so to speak, to divine areas … There was not an asexual god, but a divine couple, male and female.” The erotic figurines were an important part in this ritual of sympathetic magic oriented to procreation and abundance.

The engineer and archaeologist Trujillo, Rafael Larco Hoyle (1926 – 1966) was the one studied in detail the architecture, sexuality, ceremonies, religion, art, and customs of the Mochica culture. In 1926 he founded the first museum in the Finance Chiclín, located in Trujillo, Peru. In 1958 he moved the collection of nearly 45,000 pieces, from Trujillo to Lima and installed the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, which currently has thematically arranged exhibition spaces. In the “erotic room” are presented the sexually motivated ritual offerings.

For many years, until past the mid-twentieth century, these erotic figurines were seen only by local and foreign scientists. Ignorance and prejudices were to assume that these figurines were pornographic by such explicit sexual themes. If we add to this context, the censorship that the Catholic Church, still exercised by those years.

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