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A Moche Erotic Vessel: The Greek Connection

A Moche Erotic Vessel: The Greek Connection

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Published by Cliff
Two culture's world views decribed through imagery of the male genitalia that was based in sign language.
Two culture's world views decribed through imagery of the male genitalia that was based in sign language.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Cliff on Mar 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A Moche Erotic Vessel:The Greek Connection
Clifford C. RicheyJanuary 2012Revised March 2013
It might be helpful to read:http://www.scribd.com/doc/125076415/Universal-Prehistoric-Depicted-Sign-Languagewhen reading this paper as it explains the use of Form, Imagery, Gesture signs, Stance,allusion and position as used in composing glyphs.
ll Photos Courtesy: Lima Museo LarcoMoche male genitalia potteryMoche Ceramics are known throughout the world for their realistic imagery. Certain of the culture'svessels attract attention due to their explicit sexual imagery. This imagery is often referred to as“erotic” but one has to wonder why such compositions were placed in burials. In general, Mocheceramics are thought to display scenes from the everyday life and perhaps some ritualistic scenesrelated to the Moche cosmology.This paper explores the possibility that these vessels were not intended to be erotic but rather werecosmological statements that used imagery based on a written form of Native American SignLanguage. This imagery was quite graphic even when not involving sexual material. For example,many animals were depicted in a very realistic manner and some vessels are even thought to beportrayals of the heads of various actual personages in the culture. The Moche, like most NativeAmericans considered the earth to be female and the sky to be male. The interaction between theseentities was conceptualized in sexual terms. Due to the nature of written sign language system the signsused to describe the interaction between the female-earth and the male-sky was depicted in a similarlystraight forward manner. Hopefully we can let these vessels speak for themselves by translating theirForm, Imagery, and basic Gesture signs. The Imagery of the intercourse between the earth and sky wasillustrated as sexual but, as we shall see, held a meaning more in the sense of an interaction or aunion. The signs depicted in this vessel have been found to be quite consistent in meaning amonga variety of Native American compositions throughout the Americas.The text of this Vessel reads differently depending on its orientation. It was meant to be handled andturned as it was read. It is based on Form, Imagery, and Gesture Signs. The signs are organized by
pattern and position and are read from largest Form and Image to the smaller. Many signs were alsocompounded. Imagery was composed from gesture signs. The compThe Stance of Sitting means,
A Bird is the sign for,
flight.The one, awaiting flight.
From the side view presented in the photograph it depicts a large phallus (a great male or great man)emerging from the Triangular (earth-female) shaped “Cup.” The Phallus is Positioned on the side of theearth-female (on the side of the earth). The shaft of the Penis is a slightly Curved horizontal-place signmeaning, a place of descent. This meaning is further reinforced by the Imagery of a detumescent penis(relaxed or
at rest 
 Illustration 1: Initial Form, ASitting Bird Illustration 2: Meaning of the Signs

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