Sunday, July 22, 2007

Museo de la Nación

On Friday afternoon Susana and I took a trip to the Museo de la Nación, the National Museum. It is housed in what used to be the headquarters of the National Bank (Banco de la Nación) on Ave. Javier Prado, and displays pieces illustrating Peruvian peoples from the paleolithic period up through the Incas.

Moche (Northen Peru coast, 100 CE - 800 CE)

Silver headdresses

Wari (central and southern Peru, 700 CE - 1000 CE)

This piece, and its two companions, very much remind me of three pieces that my family and I were shown by Walter Wong, the director of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura's Ayacucho office, in the museum that he was preparing in Ayacucho in 1981. Walter was killed, presumably by the Shining Path, in 1982 and the museum never came about. I wonder if this piece was one of Walter's.

Chimú (Moche Valley, 900 CE - 1470 CE)

Funerary mask

Nazca (Nazca region, 300 BCE - 800 CE)

Trophy heads

Inca (All of coastal and mountain Peru, 1400s - 1533)

Stone mace heads

Distinctive Inca vessel called an arybalus

Stone incense or ointment holders shaped like llamas

Ears of corn carved from stone

* * * *

Among the museum's permanent displays are some exquisite full-scale replicas of archaeological sites, including this reconstruction of cliff face with ancient rock paintings (saddly, I neglected to note what culture created them or their location):

and this copy of the royal tomb of the Lord of Sipán (the originals are at the Sipán museum in Lambayeque):

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