One of the highlights of my Peru vacation was my visit to the Larco Museum in Lima. It is a private museum and houses the largest collection of pre-columbian art in the world. It’s unusual in that visitors have access not only to the regular exhibits but also to the storage area, home to over 40,000 artifacts. While photography is allowed, flash photography is not – and much of the museum is kept quite dark. This makes it difficult to get good photos, especially through the security glass and when the objects are higher up near the ceiling.
I’ve always been a fan of Moche (also “Mochica”) art. The Moches appear to have practiced just about every abomination known to mankind. Human sacrifice, slavery, torture and probably an assortment of sexual perversions. Here’s an explanation of Moche human sacrifice found at the museum:
But, in my opinion, the skill and imagination evident in much of their art rivals that of any other civilization. Here are a few samples of the hundreds of photos that I took.
Some of them look like they have some Egyptian influence, some look Polynesian and yet others seem to depict negroes (except for the large ears). One or two seem to show something like dinosaurs. The erotic collection is especially unusual; various animals are shown copulating and many of the humans are clearly corpses. Some would say it’s the stuff of nightmares. I got the impression that some of the ideas were inspired through drugs.
When we think of Peru, the Incas come to mind. But they were only the latest of a long series of civilizations that inhabited that area. From the far north, through the mountains and deserts of the south ruins, mummies and petroglyphs are found. Not far from where I stayed, in Mira Flores, is a very large complex of ruins called Huaca Pucllana.
While quite impressive considering its antiquity, Huaca Pucllana pales in comparison to such attractions as Machu Picchu or the Nasca Lines. I would say it’s comparable to the Great Zimbabwe (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) in Africa but it’s much older. I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if comparable ruins of the same age had been found in sub-Saharan Africa. Would an entire country be named after it? Would “Huaca Pucllana” be as famous as Stonehenge or the Great Pyramid of Giza?
What astounded me the most in Peru was the Inca stonework in Machu Picchu and Cusco. How much work went into this? It’s hard to say.
That’s it for now folks!