Ceremonial Knife (Tumi)

Sicán culture, Lambayaque region, Peru, Pre-Columbian

900 - 1100

An artisan produced this knife at the height of the Middle Sicán period. On it, a god wears a turquoise-inlaid crown and jeweled ear spools, and holds a tumi in his hand. The Sicán associated this deity with life-giving water, the sun, and the moon. They produced objects like this knife for rituals and for burials of the most elite members of society.