Pre-Columbian, South Coast Peru, Inca, ca. 1200 to 1532 CE. A wonderful cast-copper ceremonial tumi, a curved, crescent-shaped blade topped by a long tubular handle with a finial decorative motif of a jaguar. The handle is embellished with bas relief wave motifs, and the jaguar is lying down with his long tail curled behind. Covered in stunning blue-green patina, this is a fabulous example from the ancient Inca! Size: 5.25" W x 5.375" H (13.3 cm x 13.7 cm); 6.3" H (16 cm) on included custom stand.
The tumi was sometimes used to sacrifice llamas to the sun god. The Paracas people, also from the Andes, used the tumi for human trepanation, thought to open the mind to religious enlightenment; it is unknown if the Inca conducted similar practices, but they may have done so. In modern Peru, a tumi on the wall is a symbol of good luck.
Provenance: ex Economos Works of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico USA, acquired before 1990
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Repair to head of animal finial, with very light adhesive residue along break lines. Minor abrasions and nicks to blade, handle, and animal, with light encrustations. Nice patina throughout.