Pair of frontal panels from ear ornaments

Sicán (Lambayeque)
900–1100 CE
more object details

General Description

Elaborately decorated accoutrements such as this pair of ear ornaments were made for elite individuals on the north coast of Peru. Constructed from thin, hammered sheet of gold, they are decorated on the front side with relatively complex imagery. Although the original design has been lost from these once-identical ornaments, the more complete example offers a close approximation to the original form.

At the center of the earflare, a noble, lord or ruler wears a large headdress and sleeved tunic and holds a crescent-shape knife and unknown object in either hand. The figure stands on an ornate litter comprising a lattice work platform supported by intercrossed beams that terminate in snake-fox heads on each end. Litters of this type were used to carry people moving in unison, proffering elite status on the central individual.

Drawn from

  • "Earflare (one of a pair), 1991.419.67,"The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (Accessed April 23, 2015).
  • Getty Vocabulary, AAT (litters (drags, litters and pedestrian land vehicles): AAT: 300238441)