Erotic Room, vitrine E45
Northern coast of Peru
Florescent Epoch (1 AD – 800 AD)
The dead are depicted with cadaverous bodies, but at the same time with erections, indicating their ability to fertilize the world they inhabit; the underworld which is the realm of Pachamama, or Mother Earth.
- After death, leaders’ mortal remains were subjected to meticulous funerary rites intended to ensure their safe passage to the underworld and transformation into ancestors; it was believed that in this way the wellbeing of their living relatives would be guaranteed.
- This sculptural vessel depicts an ancestor as a cadaverous individual, a dweller of the underworld who is still sexually active.
- The male sexual organ is disproportionately large, demonstrating the ability of this figure to produce semen, the fertilizing fluid that must be offered to the soil.
- The ancestor’s main purpose is to make fertile the world he inhabits, the underworld.
- In Mochica art, the dead are depicted as sexually active beings, involved in non-procreative sexual activities, such as masturbation.