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The world of the dead

Room E2, Vitrine E32

Peruvian Northern Coast
Florescent Epoch (1 AD – 800 AD)
ML004317, ML004325, ML004327, ML004328, ML004336, ML004338.

“The fact that we find vessels in which skeletons are depicted animatedly journeying into the afterlife demonstrates that the ancient Mochica did not believe life ended when the body died. They believed strongly that this was the first stage towards a new life. This is evident from the depictions we find of skeletal individuals engaged in sexual activity no different from that experienced by the living. This provides conclusive evidence of the fact that this ancient people believed that the sexual urge –as a vital function and not just the manifestation of lust- did not end with the death of the individual, and that the pleasures of the earthly world were there to be enjoyed in the next world also. In some pottery artifacts held in the museum, we can see how some individuals appear to be inebriated as they participate in festivities as part of their existence in the afterlife. Skeletons are depicted taking part in a great dance in which large numbers of vessels containing food and drink can be seen. In this danse macabre the skeletons are depicted with erect penises, dancing hand-in-hand. (Rafael Larco Hoyle, Checán, p. 90)