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General Description

Prestige was conveyed not only through finely woven textiles, such as tunics, mantles, and headdresses, but also through facial and bodily ornaments. In particular, ear ornaments were common status markers in the Andes for over 3,000 years. Nose ornaments were also popular from the Early Horizon (900-200 BCE), varying in size and elaboration. This elaborate silver object with an excised figural scene may have once served as a nose or headdress ornament.

Adapted from

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Inca: Conquests of the Andes / Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes, Label text [1983.W.991; 1983.W.992; 1976.W.997; 1976.W.1000.a–b], 2015.

Fun Facts

  • In his 1976 report, Junius B. Bird, curator emeritus of South American archaeology at the American Museum of Natural History, notes: "Chimu - Late Intermediate Period. **No number. Two sheet metal ornaments similar to metal found appliqued to carved wooden litter backs, both excellent."