Confronting Figures Bottle

Date: 4th–7th century

Geography: Peru

Culture: Moche

Medium: Ceramic

Dimensions: H. 9 x Diam. 6 1/2 in. (22.9 x 16.5 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Containers

Credit Line: The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1961

Accession Number: 1978.412.70


Each side of this Moche stirrup spout bottle shows a prominent subject of Moche iconography, Wrinkle Face and Iguana facing each other. On the left side of each pair, Wrinkle Face, a fanged anthropomorphic figure with wrinkles, snake earspools, a feline headdress, and a snake-headed belt, sits on a throne. On the right side, Iguana, the anthropomorphized lizard, wears a bird headdress. While Wrinkle Face raises a hand with a pointed index finger, Iguana joins both hands in an attitude of veneration. Throughout Moche history, the two companions were portrayed in a wide range of complex scenes, such as burial ceremonies, "bean and stick" ceremonies interpreted as games or rituals surrounding agricultural activities, and combats with supernatural creatures.