a small copper and shell sculpture of the Vicus society (450 BC – 500 AD) in the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano

Fabulous Precolombian art museum in Santiago covering entire Latin America

Sometimes referred to as “probably Chile’s best museum”, the Chilean Museum of Precolombian Art, does not only cover Chile antes de Chile (Chile before is was Chile), but also the rest of Latin America, all the way from Mexico down to the south. Aztec gold ornaments, Mayan carvings and a range of Peruvian artefacts and textiles, and what is best: all items have been selected for their artistic merits, not necessarily their scientific relevance. Art trumps anthropology here. Fabulous and varied collection, beautifully exhibited in a lovely building, the old customs house from 1807.

Nasca vase (400-700 AD)

a Mexican statue of a guard (500 BC – 500 AD)

two sculptures of men, Colyma style (500 BC – 500 AD)

a human figure from the Olmecas (1200-700 BC)

another male figure, wood, from the Vicus-Moche culture in Peru (400 BC – 500 AD)

one of my favourite styles, a female Chancay sculpture from Peru (1000-1430 AD)

brilliant simplicity in this Condorhuasi vase (200 BC – 600 AD)

this is a collection of chemamulles,

wooden tomb sculptures from the Mapuche (Chile’s indigenous population)

and more detail – not very old, I guess, but beautifully expressive

wooden spirit sculpture, from the Rapa Nui of Easter Island

Papuche body chains, gold

Mapuche golden crown

golden pendants, of a bird and of a man, from the Veraguas culture (700-1550 AD)

stone mask from the Mexican Teotohuacan culture Mexico (100-600 AD)

a copper mask from the Moche culture (100-700 AD)

a copper rattle, Vicus culture (400 BC – 500 AD)

and I love this one: also Vicus, copper and shell (400 BC – 500 AD)

the most frightening one, a Vicus-Moche copper mask (400 BC – 500 AD)

and the most unlikely artefact, a mirror made of antracite from the Chavin culture (100-400 BC !!)

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