Lima, Peru
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Let’s Nerd Out Over Pre-Columbian Artifacts (Masturbation Sculptures Within!)

The Larco Museum is a fantastic place to spend a few hours if you’re the type who enjoys ABC Carpet & Home and the History Channel in equal measure. The museum offers visitors ice water subtly flavored with orange AND the grounds are beautiful—a lovely oasis in the middle of Lima—so what more could you want from an afternoon really?

Below, some things we saw.

…like this guy, crafted by the Moche people, who also made these water vessels/kettlebells, #isymfs.

Apologies for the crappy image quality, but for all our fellow textile nerds, this scrap of fabric, woven by a Chincha artisan sometime between 1300 and 1500 AD, holds the world record for threads per linear inch, clocking in at 398.

This series of strings and knots is a khipu, used by the Incas for various forms of record keeping such as tax payments. The position of the knots and lengths of the strings represent numerical values, sort of like a fiber-based abacus.

There are also some spectacular examples of jewelry, such as this ensemble from the Chimu people. This ceremonial attire would presumably only be worn on special occasions, such as your interment or the sacrifice of your warrior son to the gods.

As we touched on in our post about the Inca family tree, there are some complex and ultimately effed up artistic depictions of colonial apologism on display at the museum. This canvas depicts a conquistador-as-angel figure. The Inca, upon seeing the pale-skinned invaders attired in silver armor and hearing the “thunder clap” of their muskets, were duped into believing the conquistadors were their own gods, descended from the heavens. Religion: totally worth it!

Perhaps the coolest part of the Larco Museum is the pottery storerooms, which are open to the public. Only a fraction of the Larco’s holdings are on display in the museum proper, but you’re free to wander the stacks.

Here’s the vampire demon section:

The big tourist draw at the Larco Museum is the erotic pottery gallery, which is housed in its own building so the folks from cruise ships can bypass all the artifacts that don’t depict doing it. This piece, from the Moche people, is described as “Dead man and woman embracing, while beating and stoning another dead man in front of them.”

Dead people engaged in various non-procreative sexual acts are a big theme. Here are some skeletons masturbating while their also dead friend serenades them on the pan pipes, presumably with some instrumental Maxwell.

Childbirth! She looks pretty blissed out, probably because she opted for a home birth. Traditional cultures didn’t even *need* hospitals, you know?


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