Lake Titicaca Basin

Photo of head of small ceramic figurine from the site of Iwawi, Bolivia. The fragment dates to the Tiwanaku period and was found in domestic contexts. Like female figurines from other contexts, it has long, center-parted hair; traces of black slip/paint still remain. A possibly unique Tiwanaku trait may be the strongly emphasized chin, which here protrudes past the nose. Original photo courtesy of the Iwawi Archaeological Project.
Map showing the main examples of Yaya-Mama stone sculpture redrawn by Martti Pärssinen after Bouysse-Cassagne and Bouysse (1988:Figure 6).
Drawing of a pair of spouted effigy vessels from Tiwanaku site of Pariti. The broad collars, blunt haircuts, and labretted upper lips make them very different from other representations of Tiwanaku people in the Lake Titicaca Basin, suggesting they represent members of a different ethnic group. Ceramic material, red slip paint, and careful sculpting of the faces mark these as Tiwanaku pieces. Discovered as a pair, they were described as a man (a) and a “fat man” (b). Long hair visible falling down the back of the second figure, bracelets, anklets, and the different stance, however, make it reasonable to “read” the second figure as female who is pregnant, not fat. Based on photos by A. Korpisaari (Korpisaari and Parssinen 2005:Photos 10 and 11). Colors approximate.
Drawing of an anthropomorphic camelid birthing a human infant from a ch’allador found at Pariti. Reminiscent of the pooled blood on the Siguas textile in Figure 20.5 and the zigzag lines of blood illustrated on the figurine in Figure 20.10, blood (and/or amniotic fluid or placental matter) flows down from between the camelid-mother’s squatting, anthropomorphic legs. Based on a photo by A. Korpisaari (Korpisaari and Parssinen 2005:Photo 40). Color approximate.
The Pucara Camelid Woman theme is the quintessential representation of the association between females and domesticated camelids and seems to anticipate Colonial era accounts of puna-bound women herding their llamas and alpacas. Typically, she leads a single llama with her left hand and holds a basket (of food? of wool?) and long staff. The divided eye may attest to her supernatural characteristics or mark her as an important culture hero figure. Adapted and redrawn from Chávez (2002).
Wooden snuff tray with stone and shell inlays, 17.1 cm, collection 2000.211, Denver Art Museum, Colorado. Photo courtesy Margaret Young-Sánchez.
Snuff trays, southern Lake Titicaca basin. (a) Putuni, Tiahuanaco, camelid bone, 14.5 cm, Archaeological Museum, Tiahuanaco (Webster and Janusek 2003:358, Figure 14.16); (b) stone snuff tray, Tiahuanaco(?), 11.5 cm, Roemer Museum, collection V.5521, Hildesheim, Germany; (c) stone snuff tray fragment, Tiahuanaco(?), collection V.5520, Roemer Museum, Hildesheim, Germany (Uhle 1912a:Figures 15, 16); (d) stone snuff tray, Tiahuanaco(?), 15.5 cm, collection 10718, Museo Etnográfico, Buenos Aires, Argentina (photo Luis Cornejo); (e) stone snuff tray, Quiripuju, Bolivia, 12.06 cm, collection 35636, The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Museum Expedition, Max Uhle 1895; (f) stone snuff tray fragment, Cumaná Island, southern Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, 7.1 cm, collection 35515, The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Museum Expedition, Max Uhle 1895; (g) stone snuff tray fragment, Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, collection 36072, The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Museum Expedition, Max Uhle 1895 (e–g, photo courtesy Clark Erickson); (h) stone snuff tray, 12.8 cm, Tiahuanaco, collection 75-20-30/8649, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Alexander E. Agassiz collection; (i) wooden snuff tray with gold and Spondylus inlays, 24.6 cm, Pallqa, Amaguaya, department of La Paz, Museo Tiwanaku, La Paz, Bolivia; (j) wooden snuff tray with stone and shell inlays, 17.1 cm, collection 2000.211, Denver Art Museum, Colorado. Photo courtesy Margaret Young-Sánchez.
Ponce stele, 3.05 m, found in central courtyard of the Kalasasaya, Tiahuanaco. Photo by Constantino M. Torres.
Rollout drawing, Ponce stele. Drawing by C. M. Torres.
Stepped stelae sequence. Stepped stone stelae from (a) Taraco, Peru, after Kidder (1943:Plate 4.1); (b) Incatunuhuiri, Peru, after Kidder (1943:Plate 2.9); (c) Pukara, Peru (?), after Chávez and Mohr Chávez (1975:Figure 14), and stela is less rectilinear than depicted; and (d) Asillo, Peru, after Kidder (1943:Plates 7.8–7.9). Composite illustration by Arik Ohnstad.

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