The Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

South America

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Native America



Pre-Columbian Americas
Moche culture, Peru
Headdress Element in the Form of a Fox Head
A.D. 400–800
Copper, silver wash, shell
L. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection
Indiana University Art Museum, 2003.1

The Moche considered the fox a lunar symbol because of its nocturnal habits, and they admired the animal for its cunning and agility. This fox head was probably part of a dramatic headdress: the shell teeth and wire whiskers add realistic detail, the small disks on the ears and chin would have caught the light and tinkled when the headdress moved, and the tongue is designed so that it moves freely.