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 Museum Explorer

Death in the Americas

Pot with a pelican

Height: 18.500 cm
Diameter: 14.000 cm

AOA Ethno 1937-12

Pot with a pelican

From: Peru (Nasca)
Date: 200 BC - AD 600

When the Nasca buried their dead, they put painted pottery like vases, bowls and dishes into the grave with the body. The pottery was a present (called an 'offering') to the gods and to their ancestors, asking them to help the soul of the dead person in the afterlife.

The pots are painted with scenes from the world around them and their daily life. This pot shows a pelican catching a fish, and so might have been buried with a fisherman.