Nazca Art Essay

3716 words - 15 pages

The classical Nazca culture inhabited areas around the Nazca Valley on the South coast of Peru
during the Early Intermediate period, or 300 BC - 600 AD. Their capitol city was Cahuachi, located near
the Rio Nazca several kilometers inland. In its florescence Cahuachi was a ceremonial place where the
Nazca would go and meet to conduct rituals or do business; since the average citizen did not live within the
city. Eventually Cahuachi was changed into a mortuary ground filled with votive offerings; most stolen by
looters ( Moseley 1992: 187, 190 ). Though the river valleys contained water, the majority of the Southern
Coast was arid and water supply was a major concern. To deal with this they built a sophisticated
irrigation system; one composed of slightly downward tilted tunnels that eventually supplied water to
canals ( Moseley 1992: 186).

Little information regarding Nazca political organization has survived to become part of the
archaeological record. However, it is known that they had a federated style of rule in which each group
had its own unique identity and style ( Moseley 1992: 187 ). At this time literacy had not yet developed in
Peru; leaving the best way to learn more about this culture through studying their art and trying to infer
behavior from it. Their main themes are usually of a religious nature, and allow some interpretation of the
beliefs and values of the Nazca society. Multi-colored, or polychrome pottery and fine textiles are found in
abundance at Cahuachi; and the mysterious lines of the Nazca '...are sporadically distributed from the
Lambayeque region into northern Chile. ' ( Moseley 1992: 189 ) Nazca art range from very plain styles to
highly abstract symbolism of deities or supernatural beings.

Nazca textiles were rich in iconography and brightly colored. In fact, one hundred and ninety
different colors and shades have been identified ( Anton 1984: 63 ). In addition to functioning as clothing,
the textiles were often used as trade goods or burial offerings. New motifs or styles seem to emerge from
the textiles first, and then appear on pottery ( Moseley 1992: 186 ). The severed heads motif was popular
among the Nazca. Trophy heads appear on many different mediums, and the heads themselves were
painstakingly decorated with precious metals and very fine textiles. The eyes, nose, and mouth of trophy
heads themselves are typically covered with thin sheets of gold, silver, or shell ( Anton 1984: 73, 97 ). To the
Nazca the severed head of an enemy was a great trophy that contained supernatural powers which
induced the gods to treat the Nazca favorably ( Anton 1984: 73 ). By fulfilling the demands of the gods, the
Nazca believed they would be rewarded with healthy full crops. For example, in one severed head motif
the head is held by the 'vegetation god' and depicts roots growing from the blood of the victims head,
symbolizing the importance of trophy heads ( Anton 1984: 93 ).

Early motifs on...

Find Another Essay On Nazca Art

Sub-plots in Hamlet Essay

1118 words - 4 pages Sub-plots in Hamlet   There are many things that critics say make Hamlet a "Great Work," one of which is the way that Shakespeare masterfully incorporates so many sub-plots into the story, and ties them all into the main plot of Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s murder. By the end of Act I, not only is the main plot identified, but many other sub-plots are introduced. Among the sub-plots are trust in the Ghost of King Hamlet, Fortinbras, and

Hamlet as Victim and Hero Essay

1301 words - 5 pages Hamlet as Victim and Hero      Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a Shakespearean tragedy, tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who gained the knowledge of a terrible incident that his kingdom had suffered. Claudius, the king of Denmark and Hamlet's uncle, had killed his own brother, the king, who was also the father of Hamlet, and married his brother's widow. Hamlet suffered these traumas to a severe degree, and his only relief was to defeat his

Essay on Light and Dark in Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages Use of Light and Dark in Antigone   The "Golden Age" of Greece is noted for its many contributions to the creative world, especially in its development of the play. These performances strived to emphasize Greek morals, and were produced principally for this purpose. Antigone, by Sophocles, is typical. The moral focused on in Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos

charant Creon as the Main Character of Antigone

1231 words - 5 pages Creon as the Main Character of Antigone   Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three

Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness

525 words - 2 pages The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has on

Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield

898 words - 4 pages Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield   Efficacy lies at the heart of human desires for immortality. Characters throughout literature and art are depicted as wanting to step aside and see what their world would be like without their individual contributions. The literary classic A Christmas Carol and the more recent, but ageless, film It’s Wonderful Life both use outside influences (three ghosts and Clarence the Angel

Essay on Identity in Song of Solomon

2172 words - 9 pages Searching for Identity in Song of Solomon         Abstract: Whether Africans really fly or just escape a monumental burden, perhaps only through death, is a decision Toni Morrison has apparently left to her readers. Never the less, no matter what you believe, within Song of Solomon, the suggestion is, that in order to "fly" you must go back to the beginning, back to your roots. You must learn the "art" from the old messages.   O

The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine

904 words - 4 pages The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine    The stories of Oedipus, as told through Seneca's Oedipus and Cocteau's The Infernal Machine, contain both similarites and differences. Both authors portray the character of Oedipus as being obstinate, ignorant, and inquisitive. Yet Seneca and Cocteau differ on their interpretation of the motives that propelled these characteristics of Oedipus. Seneca portrays Oedipus as a

Okonkwo's Tragic Flaws in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

3121 words - 12 pages        An increasing amount of contemporary literature traces its origins back to the early works of Greece. For ages, humans have fascinated themselves with the impossible notion of perfection. Unrealistic expectations placed on those who were thought to be the noblest or most honorable individuals have repeatedly led to disappointment and frustration, either on the part of those particular individuals or those they influence. Classic

Sophocles' Antigone - Antigone Must Challenge Creon

889 words - 4 pages Antigone Must Challenge Creon in Antigone   In his "Funeral Oration" Pericles, Athens's leader in their war with other city-states, rallies the patriotism of his people by reminding them of the things they value. He encourages a sense of duty to Athens even to the point of self-sacrifice. He glorifies the free and democratic Athenian way of life and extravagantly praises those willing to die for it. In Antigone, Creon, Thebes's leader in

The Role of Women in Homer’s Iliad

796 words - 3 pages The Role of Women in Homer’s Iliad Homer’s Iliad is undoubtedly focused on its male characters: Achilles, primarily, but also Hector and Agamemnon. Nevertheless, it seems that the most crucial characters in the epic are female. Homer uses the characters of Thetis, Andromache, and Helen as a basis for comparison to the male characters. Homer wants his audience to see and understand the folly of his male characters in choosing war over peace

Similar Essays

Analysis Of 3 D Artist Richard Long

1781 words - 7 pages compared to the other lines for a few reasons. First, the photograph documenting this land art had a very interesting and effective composition. The landscape was divided almost precisely into two parts by the man-made line that Long had walked. There was a sense of human presence which amplified the emptiness on both sides of the Nazca Plain. The vast space had me wondering how anyone could walk a distance that looked at least a kilometre in a

Et And Egypt? Essay

1747 words - 7 pages suits and flying men and objects.par ab There are also many sculptures that have certain characteristics that are unusual to the normal art of the civilizations and its people. Sculptures of half human half animal creatures are found in many parts of the world. Also on Lake Maracabo, Venezzuela a female figure with four faces and huge slanty eyes was found. Some archaeologists even think that the statuettes of the pregnant women even

Popol Vuh Essay

8804 words - 35 pages ;a, nutriría. "Que eso sea. Fecundaos. Que esta agua parta, se vacíe. Que la tierra nazca, se afirme", dijeron. "Que la germinación se haga, que el alba se haga en el cielo, en la tierra, porque [no tendremos] ni adoración ni manifestación por nuestros construidos, nuestros formados, hasta que nazca el hombre construido, el hombre formado": así hablaron, por lo cual nació la tierra Tal fue en verdad

Reality And Illusion In Shakespeare's Hamlet Reality, Appearance And Deception

896 words - 4 pages Reality and Illusion in Hamlet   Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the