This mold-made figurine (called cuchimilco) is characteristic of the poorly known Chancay archaeological culture of Peru’s central coast. Dating from c. AD 1000 to 1470, Chancay likely was a small regional polity that emerged on the coast following the collapse of the expansive Wari state. The arid conditions on the coast have contributed to excellent preservation of Chancay textiles and wooden objects. Large numbers of mass-produced mold-made ceramic vessels and figurines are also common. This figurine was acquired in Lima in 1965 by Lottie Speth, mother of UMMAA curator emeritus John D. Speth. An accomplished weaver, she had traveled to Peru to study traditional weaving technologies.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.