A Moche Maternal Figure
The Moche civilization (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmotʃe]; alternatively, the Mochica culture or the Early, Pre- or Proto-Chimú) flourished in northern Peru with its capital near present-day Moche, Trujillo, Peru from about 100 to 700 AD during the Regional Development Epoch. While this issue is the subject of some debate, many scholars contend that the Moche were not politically organized as a monolithic empire or state. Rather, they were likely a group of autonomous polities that shared a common culture, as seen in the rich iconography and monumental architecture that survives today.
Moche society was agriculturally based, with a significant level of investment in the construction of a network of irrigation canals for the diversion of river water to supply their crops. Their culture was sophisticated; and their artifacts express their lives, with detailed scenes of hunting, fishing, fighting, sacrifice, sexual encounters and elaborate ceremonies
Pre-Columbian art refers to the visual arts of indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, North, Central, and South Americas until the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and the time period marked by Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas.
Pre-Columbian art thrived throughout the Americas from at least 13,000 BC to the European conquests, and continued for a time afterwards. Many Pre-Columbian cultures did not have writing systems, so visual art expressed cosmologies, world views, religion, and philosophy of these cultures, as well as serving as mnemonic devices.
During the period before and after European exploration and conquest of the Americas, indigenous native cultures produced a wide variety of visual arts, including painting on textiles, hides, rock and cave surfaces, bodies especially faces, ceramics, architectural features including interior murals, wood panels, and other available surfaces. For many of these cultures, the visual arts went beyond physical appearance and served as active extensions of their owners and indices of the divine.