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Final Farewell: The Culture of Death and the Afterlife

Appeasing the Gods: Human Sacrifice in Pre-Columbian Cultures

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textileTextile Fragment

This colorful textile reveals how religion and ritual permeated many aspects of Pre-Columbian life. The subject matter, two registers of repetitive, frontal male figures, shows the importance of human sacrifice in ancient Peru. In the top row, men grasp the hair of decapitated enemies who were ritually sacrificed, while soldiers hold maces below.

Textile Fragment
Chancay culture, ca. 1100–1450 C.E.
Peru, Central Coast
Cotton and wool
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Milton Gross


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