Postmortem/postpartum : the intersection between fertility and Mochican ancestral power
Date of Award
Masterʼs Research Paper
Art & Art History
Mochica Indians, Indians of South America -- Antiquities, Indian art -- Peru, Mochica art -- Peru, Mochica pottery
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.
Patton, Megan Elizabeth, "Postmortem/postpartum : the intersection between fertility and Mochican ancestral power" (2015). Master's Research Papers. 317.