Griffin Gallery Antiquities

Moche IV Coca Leaf Vendor Stirrup Vessel

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Pottery: Pre 1492: Item # 1248817

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Moche IV Coca Leaf Vender, Stirrup Vessel, Peru, ca. 400 - 500 CE. In form of Coca Leaf Vendor wearing hat over long hair. Face painted in shades of brown and cream pigment. Holding a hand full of coca leaves with coca sack between crossed legs. 8 1/2 H x 5 1/2 W x 8 1/2 D. Professional repair to small probe hole on coca sack, and small chips to mouth of stirrup due to age and use. Otherwise in excellent condition. Ex: Harry & Nancy Brorby collection, Tucson, AZ. Purchased before 1968. According to the Transnational Institute, Coca is a plant with a complex array of mineral nutrients, essential oils, and varied compounds with greater or lesser pharmacological effects – one of which happens to be the alkaloid cocaine, which in its concentrated, synthesized form is a stimulant with possible addictive properties. The coca leaf has been chewed and brewed for tea traditionally for centuries among its indigenous peoples in the Andean region – and does not cause any harm and is beneficial to human health. The traditional method of chewing coca leaf, called acullico, consists of keeping a saliva-soaked ball of coca leaves in the mouth together with an alkaline substance that assists in extracting cocaine from the leaves. When chewed, coca acts as a mild stimulant and suppresses hunger, thirst, pain, and fatigue. It helps overcome altitude sickness. Coca chewing and drinking of coca tea is carried out daily by millions of people in the Andes without problems, and is considered sacred within indigenous cultures. Coca tea is widely used, even outside the Andean Amazon region.