This fine specimen of a Chancay globular vessel with side handles exhibits traces of anthropomorphism on the face, or "face-neck", of a figure which displays face painting and adornments on the ears, all of which point to its importance and status.
On the rest of the body, the black decoration on white background is characteristic of the ceramic if this style, displaying typical motifs such as diagonal undulations or dots. The equal-armed cross with superimposed square, known as the Chakana cross, is very characteristic of pre-Columbian art and would become especially important during the Inca Empire (AD 1400 - 1532).
During the period that preceded the formation of the Inca Empire (Late Intermediate Period, AD 1000 - 1450), a whole series of artistic manifestations developed together under the designation "Chancay style", and among which stand out the black-on-white ware, such as the fine specimen illustrated here, the small figures called "cuchimilcos", and a great number of textiles. In all of those cases, the same decorative pattern with small figures repeated in diagonal or horizontal rows appears.
All of these objects were part of the funerary possessions which illustrated the importance the deceased had held in his community during his lifetime. This practice was common to all Andean cultures throughout the Pre-Hispanic Period and survived even after the arrival of the Spanish, creating a complex religious syncretism between the Christian beliefs and the old Andean rites.