Title

Postmortem/postpartum : the intersection between fertility and Mochican ancestral power

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Masterʼs Research Paper

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

Annabeth Headrick

Second Advisor

Scott Montgomery

Keywords

Mochica Indians, Indians of South America -- Antiquities, Indian art -- Peru, Mochica art -- Peru, Mochica pottery

Abstract

With no written record, the religious beliefs of the Pre-Columbian Mochica civilization are much of a mystery. This paper attempts to decipher the position of the deceased Mochicans, also known as ancestors, within the society as a whole. It discusses the ways in which we can use multiple sources of information, archaeological, iconographic, ethnohistoric and ethnographic to learn about the various aspects of Mochican culture. Specifically I will use these methods for collecting data to examine at how the Mochica viewed their deceased and to argue that part of the Mochica religious system granted their dead a supernatural ability to control human and agricultural fertility. This power would give Mochican ancestors a significant place within the society.

Comments

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