Canopa Or Votive Figure Of An Alpaca
1400 1500 Ce
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.