Canopa Or Votive Figure Of An Alpaca

Central Peru

Inca Culture

1400 1500 Ce

Carved Stone

Alpacas and llamas held a special place in ancient Andean societies. The alpaca in particular was seen as a gift from the fertility goddess Pachamama. Canopas are hand carved votive figures of alpacas made from a fine grained stone, then polished with sand and water. Each one has a hole in its back called a qocha (lagoon), which is a container for offerings made during the haywarisqa ceremony. Symbolically, the canopa represents the cosmology of the native peoples of the high Andes.
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