Mochica culture were contemporary to Nazca culture and grew up along the north coast of Peru between the first and the 8th century. This culture is very special and interesting because it is the only one that created ceramic with complex scenes. On the other hand, its interest stands in the fact that those ceramics were their only way of expression and communication. Indeed, the Mochica didn’t knew the writing. So those ceramics are their only information source we have from them.
Ceramics, even though different according to periods and regions, have in common to be decorated with fit and realistic details, sometimes with gold, silver or pearls. There often are rounded shape. The major part that we can see nowadays has been discovered in funerary graves, what it is surprising because most of these ceramics (that made it famous) are of an erotic nature.
There act out men, women, future sacrificed, animals, creatures half-human half-animal, Gods, creature half-alive half-dead, with sometimes sexual organs with disproportionate sizes. Positions are also various: vaginal and anal penetration, masturbation, fellatios … The whole with a realism and a precision foolproof. Often, this scenes are sculpted to adorn ritual objects, vases, pot with poring spout, etc…
Decorative items allow to affirm that these statuettes represent sexual acts realized in a symbolic way during a sacrifice or a funeral of an important person: temples with terraces, waves representing the aquatic underworld, the one of deaths… This is a whole symbolic assembling, contraries who complements each other: death and fertility, the sacrificial victim and the sexual pleasure, Gods and skeletons… Far to be pornography, those erotic scenes are the transcription of a complex world view uniting concepts that can be for us, today, hardly comprehensible.