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Cupisnique Sacred Animals

Room 2, Vitrine 7

Peruvian Northern Coast
Formative Epoch (1250 BC – 1 AD)
ML010501, ML015075, ML015443, ML040248, ML040332, ML300011.

The bird of the heavens, the feline from Earth and the serpent with its access to the subterranean world were the three sacred animals of ancient Peru.

These days our survival depends to a large degree on what we are able to purchase. We are far-removed from direct agricultural production. Societies were not always like this. The first sedentary and agricultural societies faced the challenge of making the land productive and thereby feed their growing populations.

The societies of ancient Peru maintained themselves through agriculture. Their primary concern was to ensure that the cycles of nature would be repeated without any major changes. The following conditions were of great importance: that the climate was favorable and water arrived at the right time and in sufficient quantity; that the land was fertile; that people worked in an organized manner.

The universe was composed of: the sky, where the rains came from; the land which had to be worked; the subterranean world, where the fruits of the earth came from and where the dead went to.