A Sourcebook of Nasca Ceramic Iconography: Reading a Culture by Donald A. Proulx

By Donald A. Proulx

For nearly 8 hundred years (100 BC–AD 650) Nasca artists modeled and painted the crops, animals, birds, and fish in their native land on Peru’s south coast in addition to a number of summary anthropomorphic creatures whose shape and which means are often incomprehensible at the present time. during this first book-length remedy of Nasca ceramic iconography to seem in English, drawing upon an archive of greater than 8 thousand Nasca vessels from over one hundred fifty private and non-private collections, Donald Proulx systematically describes the foremost inventive motifs of this wonderful polychrome pottery, translates the most important topics displayed in this pottery, after which makes use of those descriptions and his stimulating interpretations to investigate Nasca society.

After starting with an outline of Nasca tradition and a proof of the fashion and chronology of Nasca pottery, Proulx strikes to the guts of his ebook: an in depth type and outline of the whole variety of supernatural and secular topics in Nasca iconography in addition to a clean and certain interpretation of those issues. Linking the pots and their iconography to the archaeologically recognized Nasca society, he ends with a radical and available exam of this old tradition seen throughout the lens of ceramic iconography. even supposing those static pictures can by no means be absolutely understood, through animating their topics and meanings Proulx reconstructs the lifeways of this advanced society

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Extra info for A Sourcebook of Nasca Ceramic Iconography: Reading a Culture through Its Art

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He spent some time in the Nasca Valley, visiting among other locations Cahuachi, Majoro, Ocongalla, Estaquería, and Las Salinas. , that same year, Tello (1917) described the form and construction of Nasca graves, discussed the deformed skulls of the mummies, and illustrated a selection of twenty drawings of mythical creatures that appeared on the pottery. In a later paper (Tello 1918) he was among the first to describe Nasca trophy heads and to compare them with Jívaro shrunken heads in an attempt to understand their significance.

Dawson modified these general principles to address the specific nature of Nasca ceramics, including the complex mythical designs that he viewed from the perspective of an art historian rather than strictly as an anthropologist. Each trait (whether a portion of a larger design such as a particular form of mouth mask on a mythical creature or a specific cup bowl shape) was seen as representing part of a continuum through time. Each individual vessel contains specific traits of drawing and shape, representing an association of contemporaneity at a particular time (fig.

Uhle’s 1913 article in the Journal de la Société des Américanistes de Paris presents a more comprehensive discussion of the development of his chronology for the south coast and includes diagrams of Nasca grave forms for the first time. After 1914 Uhle’s attention turned to other interests, and he wrote little more on Nasca except when promoting his diffusionist ideas of contacts between Mexico and the Andes. He never undertook an analysis of the Nasca gravelots that he had excavated in the Ica Valley or the large collection that he had purchased in the Nasca Valley in 1905.

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