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Image of Bowl with Mythical Killer Whale Imagery

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unknown Nasca

Bowl with Mythical Killer Whale Imagery

Early Nasca; Phase 3
90 - 325

2 3/16 in. x 6 1/8 in. x 6 1/8 in. (5.5 cm x 15.5 cm x 15.5 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 69.1.307
Other Number(s): D95 (Canaday No.)
Geography: South America, Peru
Classification: Containers and Vessels; Vessels; Bowls
Culture/Nationality: Nasca
Collection: Ward M. Canaday Collection
Description: Early Nasca (Phase 3, 90-325 A.D.) interior decorated bowl painted with a Mythical Killer Whale, similar to the one seen on 69.1.306. In this case there is no weapon or trophy head, only the human hand to indicate the sacred nature of the motif.

Mythical killer whales are common in Nasca ceramic art. Represented with a square jaw, large teeth, small fins, and bifurcated tail, they represented ideas of power, fertility, and death. This one has shark-like qualities and a human arm. In earlier periods, the hand is usually empty; later, it often holds a weapon or a trophy head.

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • Animalia - Kingdom containing multicellular organisms having cells bound by a plasma membrane and organized into tissue and specialized tissue systems that permit them to either move about in search of food or to draw food toward themselves. Unable to make their own food within themselves, as photosynthetic plants do, they rely on consuming preformed food. They possess a nervous system with sensory and motor nerves, enabling them to receive environmental stimuli and to respond with specialized movements.
  • bowls - Rounded, cuplike, hollow parts of objects, such as the body of a stemmed vessel or the part of a pipe in which tobacco is burned.
  • bowls - Rounded vessels that are generally wider than they are high, usually hemispherical or nearly so. A bowl may have a spreading base or foot ring and sometimes two handles or a cover. Distinguished from a cup, which is rather deep than wide.
  • Nasca
  • Peruvian - Of or belonging to the nation of Peru or its people.
  • vessels - Containers designed to serve as receptacles for a liquid or other substance, usually those of circular section and made of some durable material; especially containers of this nature in domestic use, employed in connection with the preparation or serving of food or drink, and usually of a size suitable for carrying by hand.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_b_2.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_b.jpg
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Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_b_4.jpg
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Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_i_3.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_i_4.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_i_5.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_s.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_s_2.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_s_3.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_s_4.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_s_5.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_i_2.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_b_5.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_i_6.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_i_7.jpg
Additional Image 69.1.307_BMC_cc.jpg

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • Traces of Greatness: Selections from the Pre-Columbian Collection Bryn Mawr College , Jun 30, 2014 – Sep 11, 2014
  • Mass Production of Art in Pre-Columbian Cultures: Moldmade Peruvian Pottery from the Bryn Mawr College Collection Laura E. Smith , Aug 31, 1998 – Nov 24, 1998

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • "The Museum of Fine Arts Houston Online Collections." (Accessed May 9, 2020): Accession No.: 2003.107.
  • "Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Online Collections Database." (Accessed August 4, 2020): Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Accession No.: 63456.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Donald A. Proulx, A Sourcebook of Nasca Ceramic Iconography (Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, 2006), 34, 84-85. Figure Number: 5.45, 5.46; Plate 4
  • Alan R. Sawyer, Ancient Peruvian Ceramics (Greenwich, CT: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1966), 124. Figure Number: 205

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Bowl with Mythical Killer Whale Imagery |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/1/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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