Rare Sican-Lambayeque Wood Litter Backrest w/ Birds:
Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Sican / Lambayeque culture, ca. 10th to 11th century CE. A large hand-carved piece of wood, shaped to a roughly rectangular shape with the top corners flaring outward. This functioned as a backsplash or backrest for a litter, and is reminiscent of the Tumi shape. The front side is adorned with a register of avian forms and geometric stepped motifs above. The birds are shown in profile, with fanned tails, and circular eyes. The stepped motifs represent sacred pyramids. The verso is flat and free of carvings, and the bottom edge has 3 square holes to attach to the rest of the litter. Royalty were carried in ceremonial litters by four attendants lifting each corner. This is a rare item, and also noteworthy as it is carved from a singular piece of wood of this size and age. A massive tree may have been cut down and brought in from afar; quite an undertaking! Size: 46″ L x 1″ W x 33.75″ H (116.8 cm x 2.5 cm x 85.7 cm); 36″ H (91.4 cm) on included custom stand.