{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

Essay 3 Reading - uvarA'rars‘fi‘m...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–12. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
Image of page 3

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
Image of page 5

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 6
Image of page 7

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 8
Image of page 9

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 10
Image of page 11

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 12
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: uvarA'rars‘fi‘m IPMunokkmmfirflenm'nmgsmtvmtm -. The Cat the Cloud, the Cactus and the Cuelebra Alana Gordy-Collins University of San Diego Herein I suggest that Ternblodera (Cupisnique) artisans on the north coast of Peru recorded a religious belief on some eighteen ceramic bottles, a belief that involved a flur-ribbed columnar cactus, large spiralling volures, and u feline whose head was averted. Further; the later Moche people preserved the ancestral Tembladera religious concept by recording it in their art as well, although in a somber modifiedfirm. 271a religious belief of the cat, cactus, and volutes is interpreted here as an iconographicaliy coded message of nonsjbnnation. The code can be understood best by disassembling it and examining each of its parts separately. In this manner, the re— enforcing inter-dependence of the parts becomes clear and code can be understood INTRODUCTION Felines carry certain associations for us in our society, based upon their behavior. We see them'as graceful, aloof, curious, stealthy, etc. Some individuals grant them additional characteristics, such as insight and human-like cognition. Other societies have had not so different views. Some ancient peoples, such as the Egyptians, have credited cats with divine attributes. Still others, more recent, have accorded them diabolical abilities. In short, for most peoples, felines are more than meets the eye. This was ' true also for Pre-columbian societies of theAndean - region who incorporated the animal into their religious Beliefs and attendant art styles, frequently endowing it new cryptic or complex iconographic features. In contemporary and historical times, research has revealed that throughout indigenous South America the feline most revered has been the jaguar (Panthera onca). In prehistoric times the jaguar also may have been the cat of choice; many images are of large felines with rosette-marked pelts. However, in areas - outside the jaguars habitat, other felines seem to have assumed the jaguars prominence in art and belief. Patricia Lyon suggests that the smaller gate mont,s {Fells colocolo), with its spotted coat and bonded ankles, is often shown in the art of Peru's coastal region (19832164, 167). Other ancient cat images of the region lack pelt markings altogether and may _ indicate the solid—colored puma (Fells concolor). What the role or meaning was of any of these felines in Pre-columbian beliefs is somewhat mysterious, however. Yet, their prominence in myriad representations for more than two thousand years indicates that the role was significant and pervasive. In this essay it is our primary aim to explore the mystery of the feline's role in ancient times on the north coast of Peru. Amerindian ethnographic evidence can be a strong and useful tool in investigating ancient feline concepts. Therefore, it is important to realize that among many tropical forest cultures where jaguars are revered, the concept of I‘jaguar" extends beyond a strict -Western taxonomic designation to include other felines such as the puma and even other mammals such as the lapir (Reichel—Dolmatofi' 1975:122,'124). All these ‘fiaguars" are seen in native eyes as animals that embody supernatural power and potency. A particular aim here is to understand the religious nature of the ancient felines as it was perceived by the ancient believers. Therefore, Western taxonomic designations are largely avoided. Instead,_thc felid images dismissed are referred to' simply as cats or - felines. Figure 1: The Chavin pendant eye derives from feline eyes whose pupils are beginning to dilate. Author‘s drawing. We can begin with an examination of the _ iconography as it appears in the earliest art styles in the Andean area. ‘fDelrating Complexity" — Proceedings of the 26th Annual Cmfercnce of the Arclaaeological Association oflhc ofCalgnl-y, © 1996. D. A. Meyer, P. C. Dawson 8: D. 1'. Hanna (editors). ‘ tso “disavow-Arunfikuvmummfiuwr. “swarms. CHAVIN CATS The best known oftlicse early cultural styles is called Chavin (800-300 BC). It is a late manifestation of the rmher~lmsely4mit north coast Peruvianhatlition referred to as CupiSnique (ca 1500— 500 EC). One of the Chavin tradition's more prominent beliefs seems to have focused on the feline, a tradition Chavin culture shared with the Cupisuique. Striking over-life size feline imageryr is known from the Cupisnique sites of Punlnm’ and Gene Sechin (Bonavia 1974), whereas feline attributes abound in architecture, ceramics, and other media throughout the north coastal region of Peru. James Zeidler, in fact, has proposed a pre—Chavin interaction sphere whose focus was a feline cult (Zeidler 19882274). Figure 2: Temhladera stirrup spout bottle depicting a feline pinning a prone human to the ground. Private collection. Aufllor's photo. Although initial research indicated that full felines (as opposed to isolated feline characteristics) were rare in Chavin and Cupisuique art (Kan 1972:76; Rowe 19:52:18), more recent studies have revealed a veritable plethora of big ms (Gordy-Collins 1982; Sawyer and Maitland 19:33:60). Indeed, there are many large spotted cats represented in the carved ashlar masonry atChavindeHuantarintheCalleiondeI-Iuaylas, the sitefiomwhiehtheculmrederivesitsname. The mostnoteworthy examplesofChavincatsappearin the lower register of carved stones encircling the sunken plaza in front of the Old Temple there. While few of the original number of decorated blocks remain 181 in place (Linnbreras 1977), it is likely that a continuous parade of felines originally enclosed the entire courtyard Furthennore, felines were painted on Chavin textiles from the ice Valley in the south, one painting, intact, executedinaformatverysimilar to that of the sunken circular plaza (Conklin 1978; Cordy~Collins 1976, 1977). Felines also appear on pottery recovered in the mderground offering galleries at Chavin de Ihréntar (lumbreras 1989). Figure 3: Tembladera stirrup spout bottle depicting a backward glancing feline flanked by cacti and cloud volutes. The American Museum of Natural History, New York. Photo courtesy The American Museum of Natural History. Moreover, certain features of Chavin supematurals long have been acknowledged as feline-inspired or derived. The-grimacing, fanged mouth continent}r represented on zoomorphs alike is interpreted as a snarling feline mouth, a feature which apparenfly connoted divine status {Rowe 19:57am.i Likewise, the pendant eye-a iIltocently, Lyon has called this interpretation into queniou by arguing that feline fangs aren’t seen unless Chavin anthropomoth aud' “anmrwnwm-Wn—mwwsptw _ r EATS : in place: (Lumbreras 1977), it is- Iikely that a . '-: 4mg early calm styles is 'mminunus parade of felinm originally enciosed the- - - cam 33' ".(890~SGO-.._B.C.). It is a late we comm Furthermoreflelines warmed on ' ‘ Magma 'af'tae gather loaSely—kait non}: coast 7-: . L “miles from the 1‘53 V3113? in the-smith: 0113}. referred to as Cupisnique (ca. 1500~ painting, in fact, executad in 2: fmtvetrsimiiar to :- _ :of‘--'tt£e_i(_1hafin tradition's more - mat 0f the sunk-911 Circular PM {Oofiklifi 19.73; * : {dye-Collins 19%, 1977}. Falincs an __repoveredinthe undargm fifl’exifig .dfifimmmm "- -' 13%- ....... .Wsmmmzmm characteristic-takes"- im _ ‘ ":e'yes of cats. lacking upmd-as ‘iam, an cats eviqienc'e-pendam mxwmrmmunmn wammmmfiwwrfimqk‘ffinfl :.\vm\\n\‘u\._. Figure 5: Tembladera stirnip spout bottle [in reconstmction] depicting a backward glancing feline flankedbycacti,clcudvolutes, andaserpent. Museo Nacional de Antropologia y Arqueblogia, Lima, Peru. Author's photo. THE CAT IN CONTEXT notasmesoleimageontheboulebutasaceniral nmdeledfigurenestledagainstthelcwerpartofthe vesseichambersnnonndedbyothermofiismgs. 3- 10). On 18 of the 19 examples, the feline is enveloped by several large cloud-like volutcs (Figs. 3-10; Alva 1986:1853-b, 186; Anton 1972: Fig. 12; Engine: l9’i'6:40-41; 44; Larco 1941: Fig. 216; Lavalle 1981:109; Sothebjfs 1934; 198622; 19911).4 In 14 instances-314 of the sample-branches of cactus appear (Figs. 3-10; Alva 1986:184b, 185a-b, 186', Lapiner 1916:4041, 44; Larco 1941: Fig. 216; Sotheby's 19863). Even though the cactus and clouds at firSt might seem to indiwte a special geographical locale— the foggy waste} desert of northern Pentathere is a stronger possibility that they function primarily as activity indicators. Four of the bottles include a large serpent uncoiled over the top of the chamber (Fig. 5; Iapiner 1976:44; Larco 1941: Fig. 216; Sotheby‘s 19911). Here 31, although some snakes (or culebras in Spanish) do inhabit the region, the motif probably is indicativeofthesameactivityastheclonds and cactus. Tlusactivityeiflbediscussedinmoredetafl below. - oftheseveSselsisthc direction in which the-feline faces. In every instance ‘ One ofthe bottles is represented by anagment (Alva 1986:184a-b). It is not possible to say with assurance that the piece originally included voiutes, but because all the others do, it seems likely. 183 theanimalisshownwithitsheadaverted;in 13 cases the catfacesbackward, towardits tail (Figs. 3-5, 7, 9- 10; Anton 1972: Fig. 12; Alva 198618413, 1853-13; Lapincr 1976:44; Lavalle 19311109; Sotheby‘s 198612), while in the remaining examples it is shown facingoutward." 'I'hispecoliarheadposuneisakey feamreinthe interpretation oftheentire scene. Figure 6: Tembladera stirrup spoutboule [in reconstrudion] depicting a backward glancing feline On19ceramicbottlesalargespottedcatappmrs, flanloedbyrnctiandcloudvolntes. MuseoNacionalde Antropologia y Arqueologia, Lima. Author's photo. Beforethepostureisdimssedfin'ther, letusrelnm tothcsettinginwhiehthefelineappears. In 14 ofthe 19 bottles, cylindrical cactus stalks either are shown fianlcingthecatdirectlyor omnmentingthereverso sideofthebottle. Ineachinstanoethccacoisis distinctively four-ribbed. Tall, quadripartite columnar cactus representations in Andean art consistently have been identified as mythical ofsupemamral versions of Tricliocereus pachanoi, or San Pedro, the mescaline— containingplantnsedby shamans and folk healers in present-day Peru (cf. Sharon 1978)." Thus, while the 7 seems may indicate a general geographicallocation (T. pachanoi grows from sea level to an altitude of S'I'houghonlymbottlesaredismswitherearell felinesinthesample.'1‘wocatsappearonthevessel showninFig.11. Onthesideotherthanthcone illustrated, the cat faces outward (Alva 1986:1742: & c). Similarly, two backward glancing cats appear on the bottle illustrated by 105, Antonio dc Lavallc (1981309). ‘NoaetnalfourribbedSanPedrocacmshaseverbeen reported; living plants have from five to seven ribs. Modem do},r shamans suggestthat the number "four" is magical. Thunfourribhedcactusmaybepartof shamanism's quadiipartition concept which gives rise to the 1‘fonr winds“ (Sharon 1978) and the four world directions (Blinds 1964). over 3,000 meters), it seems more likely to be indicative of a situation or an activity inWiViIlg the mythical plant This likelihood is suengthetredhythe presence of clouds or volures on the bottles. It is the interpretation of Douglas Sharon that these voiutes represent the remclino, or whirlpool, an hallucinatory vision which is frequently perceived by the San Pedro intoxicated shaman during a sean‘ce (Sharon and Donnan timers-379).? Figure 7 Ternbladera stirrup spout bottle depicting a backwardglancingfelineflankedbycactiandcioud‘ volutes. Private collection Author‘s photo. Therefore, rather than the scene on these 19 Tembiadera bottles simpiy being one of a wild cat roaming within its habitat, a more likely interpretation is that the scene is shamanistie in character. While this interpretation is not entirely new (Gordy-Collins 1977, 1982; Sharon and Donnan 1977), there is a new - dimension to it In describing these ancient felines; it wasso'essedthatanunusual,butconsistentfeatmeof the animal is its backward- or outward-tinned head. It niilberecailedthatthisstrfldngposnu'eisapose 7 SpiralsWolutes are one of several "visual" forms perceived cross-culmme in thefirst stage of hallucinosis (ct: Seigel 1977). limited to the group of bottles under discussion. Therefore, it must have had some particular significanceintbecontextoffour-rihhedmctosand solutes. Figure 8 Ternhladera stirrup spout bottle depicting a backward glancing feline flanked by cacti and cloud vcintes. Private collection. Author's photo. MOCHE MOUNTAIN CATS With this in mind, it is intriguing to discover that thereisasmallergmupofceramicsprodncedbythe later Moche culture (AD. 100-800) which illustrates a feline whose head is averted andfor is associated with a cactus (Figs. 1142 and Donnan 1978:l47—148 are representative). It is generally recognized that the Moche people of the north coast inherited certain Cupisnique traditions which they represented in their art. They scem both to have made interpretive copies of Tembladera ceramic wares (Rowe 1971) and also to have carried on the earlier traditions by preserving Cup' 'que myths and-perhaps-their practices as well (Gordy-Collins 1992).3 - s It would seem that north coast societies tenacioust have held onto their beliefs for centuries. It has been shown repeatedly that mythologies of the north coast peoples at the time of the Spanish Conquest in 1532 1-84 Figure 9.Tembladera bottle illustrating a backward glancing fieline flanked by four-ribbed San Pedro cactus stalks on one side, modeled volutes on the back. linden-Mum fur Volkerlnmde. Stuttgart, ' Deutschland. Photo courtesy the Linden-Museum _The Tembladera and Moshe ceramics illustrated hereatebynomeansidenfieal, norcanitbesaidthat the Moshe pieces are copies of the Tembladera ones. Whatdoesseemlikely, however, isthattheMoche revered a belief of Cupisnique origins which involved a backward-glancing feline, and that that revered mythology is represented on the aforementioned Mocha ceramics. Cats with heads tinned backward arenomorecommontoMocheanthantheyaretothe Tembladera style. Yet a backward— or sidelong— looking feline appears on at least seven Moshe bottles asonecharacterinamwntainscenetwoofwhich foundrepresentafioninartexecutedbythe Moche, some 700 years earlier (Gordy-Collins and McClelland 1983; Donnan 1976; 1978). The gap between Temhiaderafiupisnique and Moche times was only 300yearsatmosgthustheMocheeasilyeouldhave oontinued'l'embladera beliefs. 185 also illustrate a plant which seems to he a Moche version orfthe San Pedro lessons.9 The first ofthese latterexamples (Figure 11) mostclosely resemblesthe Tembladera specimens. On this Moche bottle, as on theTembladera ones, the spotted cat isa major figure, centrallyplacedonthebottle,andfiankedhymodeled columnar promberances which, by the design panned onthem,appeartobecaeti.‘° Alargeserpentappears atthetopofthevessehbeneathitsstinup. The additional Moche piece which shows the cat and wetustogetherisillustratedinli‘igure 12. Herethecat isshowninhighreliefwithitsheadfifllymodeledand swiveledbeckward. Figurelo: Tembladera stirrup spout bottle. The chamberisembellishedwithtwofielines-onefifll- flee, the otherinprofile « cactusbranches, and volutes. Dallas Museum of Art, The Nomand John Wise Deflection, gifi of Mr. aners. Jake L. Eamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Alger HMeadowsandtheMeadowsmedafion, aner. glhosefournotrefercnoed inthetextare documented in photographs located in the Archive of Moshe Art at UCLA. 1° The possibility that this Moche . bottle might represent the Tembladera cat and cactus theme was originally suggested to me by Alan R. Sawyer. and Mrs. Iohn D. Murchison. Photograph courtesy the Dallas Museum of Art ' ‘ “HM-(Dainn‘poflfiflfi \Vrvawmianiahvfi wwmwm:maawesome-1xmtmmzwzmmmmnwweamqemu. Figure 11. Mochestirrup spoutbottlemth feline, . cactus, and serpent motifs. Uhle collection, Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Universityof California, Berkeley. Photo courtesy C. Donnan. Apartfi’omthcsetwoverysimilarpieceaatleast five other Moche ceramics scan to relate to‘ the Tembladeia feline theme. All examples are very - similar, yet the cat is depicted less prominently. In mesemmthesceneisomofappment-human sacrificeinamormtainonsareawhereinasupernatural jiffé'h‘lfl'! “crests-".1: i'X-"ff‘f‘ftt‘f INTERPRETATION It same apparent that Cupisniqoe artisans, working in the Tembladera tradition, faithiirlly recorded a religious belief on the 19 bottles described above, a belief that involved a four-ribbed columnar cactus, a serpent, large spiraling cloud volutes, and a feline whose head was averted. Further, the later Moche “ The published example oftliis lattertype (Donnan 1978:147-148), the feline, facing forward as in Fig. 12, is shown to the lower right of the scene in flout of what is clearly a cactus. f E % people preserved the ancestral religious concept by recording it in their art as well, in a somewhat modifiedform. We can interpret the religious "belief of the cat, cactus, cloud, and culebra as an iconogiaphically coded message of transformation. The code can be understood best by disassembling it and examining eachofitspartsseparately. Inthismanner, the ' reinforcing inter-dependence of the parts becomes olearandthecodecanbcunderstood figumll: Macho stirrup spout bottle decorated with a mountain scene which includes a backward facing feline and cactus. Museo Nacional de Annopolgia y Arqueologia, Lima, Photo courtesy C. Donnan. TheCactus: Muchhasbeenwrittenaboutthe significance of columnar, fern-ribbed cacuis on the . north coast of Peru (Cordy—Coilins I97}, 1982; Donnan 1976, 1978; Joralemon and Sharon 1993; Sharon 1978; Sharon and Donnan 1977) and it can be summarized concisely. According to Sharon's original research, San Pedro cachis-a plant botanically and pharmacologically known to be hallucinogenic by - virtue of its high mescaline content-is ingested by shamans to achieve an altered state of consciousness which, they avow, allows them access to a 186 \Im\\5»mmwmwmw\whmmtnm mm mm“ E‘\E<w|«atm1m\avsxsv\ Figure13: Temb stirrup spout e with a supernatmal world. Thus, San Pedro cactus can symbolizethatabilityparticularto shamanscd‘ contemporary, historic, and-apparenfly-prehistoric times to transcend everyday reality and attain a dififerentlevelof awareness. backward facing feline lacking the usual accompanying motifs. Instituto Nacional de Cultma, 'I'rujillo. Author's photo. The Cloud Vohrte: It has been shown clinically that volume are a common type of phosphene, a perceived visual form which is manifested during the early stages of hallucination (Knoll et al 1963; Oster 1970; Siegel 1977). A whirling, solute-like pattern is known tobeproducedinthemindasaresultoftheingestion ofSanPedrocactusbrew. Oftenreferrednobythe Spanish name, remolino, this carrots-produced phosphene image is nearly identical to the volotes shown on the Tembladera pottery. Thus, the juxtaposition of volutes and four-ribbed cacti on the ceramicwaresisnotlikelytobecoineidenmhbut rather intimately related. The Cnlehra: A serpent appears on only four ofthe Tembladera bottles in the sample and on two of the 137 .Moche pieces. The snake has various meanings in the context of slmmanic-beliefs and practices in South America today, but one particular reference to it is especially thought-provoking, In their treatise on modern-day shamanism in north coastal Peru, Donald Joralemon and Douglas Sharon discuss the inclusion of a serpent icon in a shaman’s curing paraphernalia Its role there is three-fold: first, it protects the entire curing assemblage from danger and, second, it 'functionsasapnrgativeagainstasorcerer'spotions. Third, it "...is used to calm patients who become agitated fiom the efl'ects of San Pedro...”(1993:56; italics mine). Joralemon and Sharon suggest that this shaman's serpent is probably the huge jungle-dwelling anaconda. Thebodymatlcingsofthe serpentsinthe Pre-columbian sample also suggest an anaconda identification. Figure“: Tladera spout bottle with modeled cloud volutes. ...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern