Stirrup vessel in the form of a feline
Moche culture - Peru, north coast 100-800 AD
All Peruvian cultures revered felines, although the species varied according to region. Most common was the jaguar, the largest South American cat, identified by its spots. The Moche, however, depicted pumas and smaller felines such as ocelots, margays, Pampas cats, jaguarondis. These animals display the hunting prowess, poise, stealth and aggression, all qualities that were valued by Moche warriors. Symbolically, cats were associated with leaders, so the tombs of the elite tombs were filled with feline imagery.