Chimu, S. America, Peru, N. coast



Double Body Vessel with Fish Image
ca. 900 - 1430 CE
6 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
In the absence of a written language, the specific narratives on these two vessels from the Chimu culture are still a mystery to anthropologists. With that said, they do impart information about some of the social issues of their day. The terracotta pot refers to the strict social stratification system in Chimu society with the larger and more elaborately dressed figure taking precedent over his smaller counterpart. The two are covered with spondylous (spiny oyster) shells, a highly prized possession, indicating they are of the elite class. The blackware pot features a fish which makes reference to the important role the sea played in the daily lives of the Chimu. The Humboldt Current which is located off of Peru, supports a rich array of aquatic life that, even then, sustained the Chimu. With such an abundant food source, it is no wonder the Chimu worshipped the ocean and regularly used aquatic life forms for decoration.


ca. 900 - 1430 CE


Chimu, S. America, Peru, N. coast


Gift of Dr. Stephen S. Goodspeed and Mrs. John Goodspeed Ainsworth




Chimu, S. America, Peru, N. coast, “Chimu, S. America, Peru, N. coast,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed September 30, 2022,