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Ceremonial knife – rattle

This metal rattle (made of copper with small stones) is a relic of the Vicús culture, which flourished on the northern coast of modern-day Peru between the years 1 and 500 CE.

It is made from a single sheet of metal, in two sections: a semicircular sharpened blade (tumi) and a folded sheet bent into a sub-triangular form. It was made using the metalworking techniques of laminating and hammering.

This instrument is idiophonic –that is, it produces its own sound when shaken. It contains about seven small stones, roughly one centimeter (half an inch) in diameter each, that produce a loud, dry, metallic sound when striking each other and the rattle’s interior.

Moche and Vicús iconography depicts warriors with one or more of these instruments tied to their belts, hanging downwards, probably to add to the terrifying sound of their battles.

Dimensions: 363 mm high x 730 mm long x 185 mm wide (approx 14” x 29” x 7”)

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Part Code: MCHAP 372

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