Nazca Sling and Stone Bullet
Nazca Sling and Stone Bullet
Pre-Columbian era, Nazca civilization, 300BC - 600AD, Peru.
Mesmerizing and rare sling made out of cabuya fiber and multi-colored camelid fiber accents, with the original stone bullet. The long fiber banded cord is woven in thick strands in a black, dark brown, and beige with a center separating support for holding a stone. The user could hurl large stones with a vicious bone breaking force by spinning the sling around the head and quickly releasing it.
Nazca civilization flourished in ancient Peru between 300BC and 600AD. Early Nazca society was made up of local chiefdoms and regional centers of power centered around Cahuachi, a non-urban ceremonial site. These pyramid-like structures and plazas, situated in lower part of the Nazca Valley, served as important spaces for fertility and agricultural rituals. Nazca artifacts indicate that they worshiped a number of gods, or nature spirits. Their polychrome, or multicolored pottery came in different shapes such effigy or animal shaped bulbous vessels, double spouted bottles and round bowls. The Nazca had a headhunting cult; hoard of several trophy heads, some with carrying ropes have been discovered occasionally by archaeologists. The frequent depiction of severed heads is one of the most distinctive features of Nazca ceramic art. Nazca pottery was made by hand (pottery wheel was unknown) by the method of coiling, where a tube of clay was spiralled around base to build up the vessel. Then the sides of vessel, both in and out, were smoothed by hand. Before firing the pottery was painted by using several earth minerals. Because the Nazca had no writing system, iconography painted on pottery vessels were as important means of communicating shared ideas, religious practises and preservation of history. Not simply for everyday use, then, the Nazca created vessels for ritual use, burial offerings, and pure decoration.
The sling is in excellent condition considering its age of 1500-2000 years. Intact. Age-related minor wear, loose threads and fraying. Rich earthen deposits. The ends lack the finger loop. Size approx. 140,0cm x 3,5cm x 0,5cm.
Provenance: From the estate of Paul Ragnar Wedendal Sr. & Paul Wedendal Jr. Collected in the 1940's to 1950's.
For a similar examples see:
Sling, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Accession Number: 1994.35.103 (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/316928)
Sling, Princeton University Art Museum, Accession number: 1995-376 (https://artmuseum.princeton.edu/collections/objects/4624)
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