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The Moche are believed to have hailed from the North Coast of Peru and lived during the 100 A.D. The society is a classic example of ancient American culture that came up with elaborate symbols with well-understood meanings that were used to communicate set of ideas. As a group, Moche is known for having come up with artworks of impressive caliber whose remains are still seen in their Peruvian coast home.
Having resided in the northern Peruvian; the area was well endowed with clay and other minerals such as metal which gave them a pool of resources to use in production of artistic items and creation of their culture. In what might appear strange and embarrassing, the Moche artistic work remains the only thing that can be used to trace their culture. Having lived so many years ago, there is no existence of any written document to witness their existence. As seen below, in fig 1.0 and fig 1.1, the only record that indicates the people of Moche lived is their artistic work. Their style of carvings was just in its own world and will live to be remembered.
The art literally presents everything from sexual immorality of human beings as seen above, and some deities which were probably part of the Moche culture. The material mostly associated with Moche art is clay although the society is also well known for using other materials such as copper and gold in their work of art. The Moche ceramic work of art was of high quality and due to that, some work of art was only meant for a certain class of people in the society. For instance, the pots were found in some graves as some were buried with them as a sign of respect. Though this might not be the reason why they buried some people with pots, some historians deduce that, it may the presence of pots in the graves might be meant for showing the social status of the dead.
The above disposition is further supported by the level of art which was seen in some of the graves. They used to be well furnished more so if the grave was close to the temple. The way the pots were placed on various graves further supports the idea that it was in orderly way, perhaps going by the position of the bereaved in the society. The thematic concerns on the pot further hinted that the Moche artistic features on the pot indicated they took part in sacrifice of fellow beings and acts of sexuality were given an opportunity in the society. Apart from application of Moche art in their funeral sites, the art was also used to make items such as bowls used for drinking. The pots were decorated using black and many other techniques were applied to make it look beautiful. The stir-up spout is probably one of the Moche arts that were well created through application of diverse techniques. Apart from using their hands to create work of art, Moche artists also made use of molding techniques and they sometimes would combine the two techniques to come up with a classic piece of work. The artists are famous for their magnificent use of metals such as gold and silver in their work. Besides the above mentioned techniques, the Moche also made use of turquoise technique alongside wax casting. Among the tools they made using the mentioned techniques were the chisel, hooks for catching fish among other things.
Other works by the Moche include monumental pyramids and temple complexes decorated with polychrome and well painted ceramic vessels, textiles which appear complicated and metalwork. Some of the unique aspects of Moche art are the pictorial images throughout their culture despite their diverse geographical location. Of all the artworks that exist, Moche ceramics are the well known in the world. Going by their numbers, they offer the greatest consistency and continuum. The ceramics have a unique style that forms a base which is easily recognized as Moche. They appear as part of long lasting artistic work in Northern Peru.
Having stayed for over seven centuries, the Moche artworks style was manufactured and maintained by the technological traditions. Objects had a major role to play to ensure that culture was observed throughout. Moche representation basically had well established artistic work that faced transition over a period of time. The Moche style is so distinctive and can easily be recognized that is in most cases associated with most cultures.
Pottery from Moche is one of the most treasured things in the world. Mold technology would have been practiced which could have made it possible for a lot of art work to be produced. All the same, the different shapes which were made represented their culture in terms of sexuality, war among others. Given that they relied on irrigation as source of livelihood, the culture of Moche insisted on significance of flow and sometimes even circulation. Moche paid much attention to fluids passage in their field of art majorly fluids from human sacrifices. They are credited with so many images of soldiers releasing fluids from their noses after they have been defeated in war. They are images of jailed slaves to represent thematic concern of humiliation and suffering in the society. Moche is a classic example of a society where everything was communicated in form of images which portrays the range of talent in that society.
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Moche art bears a simple but beautiful decoration which is yellowish in color and cream with some being reddish in color. These colors are mostly found on their pottery work with some even bearing white and black color although not many. Given that most of their art work came into being so many years back, most of it has been destroyed by natural occurrences but most of which is remaining is very beautiful to say the least.
The Moche older generation always passed the expertise to the younger generation so as to keep it going. This was mostly the case with the ceramics. These would be used as source of knowledge so many years after. For instance, pots related to sex would tech about procreation to the young generation and the pleasure that comes with sexual intercourse, their culture and the norms which were part of the society. The pots would also represent the transferring of souls and life, transition and the relationship between life and death. Textiles from Moche were made in most cases from woolen materials such as alpaca. This has not yet been proved given that not many of them still exist but it is believed the Moche society liked weaving. Some of the art work from Moche portrays that they practiced human sacrifice. This clearly shows they endowed the practice in the field of religion. Some carvings have been seen of people consuming human blood but there have always been denial of such a practice.
Hundreds of clay pots produced by the Moche art revolve around sex. These are in the category of some of the finest art that came from North Coast of Peru in the ancient times. Researchers have been looking for these pieces of art and it is said that around 70,000 to 100,000 pieces of art made by the Moche have found their way into the museums globally. Most of them have been excavated from the ground around the places where they mostly resided. Although those that indicate sex images are not well known, around 500 of them have been discovered. Most of them are known to have the same imagery.
Being the owners of these rich pieces of art, the Moche society was highly regarded in the country of origin and in the world. The beautifully carved pieces of art were associated with a group of intellects and this called for a lot of respect in those days. After a millennium from the time they were existing, Moche society can still be remembered due to their art work. Some of the valuables which are found in the market today demonstrate the kind of luxury that surrounded these people so many years back. It is what that can be called today fine work of art. The art was regarded to have improved their economy by far.
Most of the ceramic work from Moche cannot be established who exactly owned them as there is no evidence of the exact person who created them. Some of the fine works were associated with a small group which existed in Moche society. It was known for producing some of the finest works of art which were used by the high and mighty in the society. The Chicama river valley is one of the regions within Moche known for some of the finest work of art. The valley is famous of producing some of the high quality pieces of art. In this valley, most of the ceramics found in the museums are of naked women who are many compared to the number of men. This indicates that most of the finest works of art in Moche are of sex imagery. These raise questions of whether they represent human beings or the Moche society.
If the culture of the Moche is anything to be associated with their work of art, it is depicted that some of the highest quality work of art was mainly found in the burial sites of the highest ranked people in the society. Most of the collections which are found in museums have their origin from the tombs of the prominent people of Moche society. It has been noted that the number of ceramics in the tombs have continued to decrease and cannot be traced. There are depictions that sometimes the tombs would be opened and fine ceramics would be placed inside there. It is also said that, the finest ceramics exchanged hands amongst the highest ranked in the society and they would be buried with them.
Those who have attempted to interpret the Moche art have basically focused on what is perceived as pictorial perspective. Studies carried out indicate that Moche artists often identified events that happened in the architectural field. As Moche art continued to become famous, it continued being taken by those in power as theirs. It is depicted that, elites continued controlling some kinds of specialized ceramics and they kept them to themselves.
The consistency of manifestation of culture in Moche over a long period of time is a testimony of how art can be used to preserve a society that existed so many years ago. Although the styles have changed over time, the variations are not something big. The work of art has continued to communicate generations after generations. Among these are monumental structures being backed up by a number of portable arts.
Artwork was also found on pyramids which were in temples to make it look beautiful. Due to this work of art, the temple looked as a respected place as some of the expensive work of art was found here. Most of the ceramics here were designed in a way that would reflect the faith of the people. These would obviously be easily interpreted by the people of Moche. The type of artworks that were found here was mostly made of gold and silver.
Moche artwork has continued to live although some of it has been tampered with by the upcoming artists. It has always made it possible for the Moche society to be remembered so many years after their existence. Their culture, more so on sexuality is something that the world and generations to come will always remember. Given that most of the Moche art was based on what used to happen almost eight centuries ago, the people of today's generation can easily connect what happened so many years back and relate it with what is happening today.
The culture of Moche can be seen in their artwork. At the height of its power, the cultural practices are easily spread in the world through their talent which is seen in their work of art. Although sometimes it appears rather confusing to some extent, it is seen as if the residents of North Coast Valleys, including those in Moche and regions of Chicama, had the same religion if what is seen in their artwork is anything to go by. Although very little is known about Moche religion people one can get a hint of what it entailed from their work of art. Some of the deities which are related to their religion are very common in their gallery. Some carvings of some birds and animals which are well decorated are said to be the spirit messengers in the Moche society. These and many others can be used to tell more on the Moche.