Sunday, April 26, 2015

Guinea Pig History: Cavies in the Moche Valley

I hope everyone's ready for another guinea pig history lesson! We've already shared guinea pig art from Europe in 1580 and 1615. Here's some art that is not a painting, is not from Europe, and is much earlier than those other two:

Caption: "Moche Guinea Pig ca. 200 A.D. at the Larco Museum in Lima, Peru" (Original source.)
The Moche civilization flourished in northern Peru from about 100 AD to 800 AD. Wikipedia says: "The Moche people of ancient Peru worshiped animals and often depicted the guinea pig in their art." This kind of makes it sound like the Moche worshiped guinea pigs, although other sources we've read make their relationship with guinea pigs sound not quite as nice. According to The Moche of Ancient Peru: Media and Messages by Jeffrey Quilte, "Guinea pigs and ducks were domesticated and kept within easy reach for their meat." Not cool, Moche people of ancient Peru! We're way too lovable to be treated as food!

Although we completely disagree with their dietary choices, we do have to admit that their art is pretty cool.

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