Globular Vessel with Flying Shaman



Globular Vessel with Flying Shaman


Ceramic, vessel


1 - 650 AD


Early Intermediate Period
South America, Central Andes, South Coast
Nasca 5


6 3/4 x 7 1/4 in. (17.2 x 18.4 cm)

Object Number



Many Nasca vessels are painted with supernatural beings, most of whom wear whiskered feline mouth masks. These beings are clearly not entirely human; instead, they seem to represent entranced shamans who are not only dressed up as animals, but are also actually transforming into other selves. Artists used various means to convey that the shamans were not simply impersonating supernatural beings. First and foremost, the wide, staring eyes are a key to the trance state. Second, orienting the bodies sideways shows shamans in their noncorporeal selves, defying gravity by flying.

Credit Line

Gift of William C. and Carol W. Thibadeau


Pre-Columbian Art from the Collections of Paul A. Clifford and William C. Thibadeau, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, 1971|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, September 2002 - June 2012|
'For I am the Black Jaguar': Shamanic Visionary Experience in Ancient American Art, Michael C. Carlos Museum, September 5, 2012 - January 5, 2013|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, February 9, 2013 - Present
Rebecca Stone-Miller, Seeing With New Eyes: Highlights of the Michael C. Carlos Museum Collection of Art of the Ancient Americas (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2002), 237, figure 541.|
Rebecca Stone, Art of the Andes: From Chavin to Inca. 3rd Edition (London: Thames and Hudson, 2012), 80, figures 62-63.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Michael McKelvey.
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On View



“Globular Vessel with Flying Shaman,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed April 5, 2020,

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