Skip Navigation

Fox Runner Effigy Vessel

Arts of the Americas

On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
The anthropomorphic fox on this effigy vessel wears a large disc headdress associated with the Ritual Runners, figures shown racing through the desert landscape in many examples of Moche art. Similar discs in gold and copper have been found in elite burials, suggesting that the Ritual Runners were a high-ranking group of adult males, possibly priests, who participated in special ceremonies throughout the Moche territory. Scholars believe that Moche priests consumed the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) to transform themselves into animal spirit helpers such as the fox.
CULTURE Moche
MEDIUM Ceramic, pigments
  • Place Found: North Coast, Peru
  • DATES ca. 400-700
    DIMENSIONS 10 3/4 x 5 3/4 x 8 7/8 in. (27.3 x 14.6 x 22.5 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 36.332
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Eugene Schaefer
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Moche. Fox Runner Effigy Vessel, ca. 400-700. Ceramic, pigments, 10 3/4 x 5 3/4 x 8 7/8 in. (27.3 x 14.6 x 22.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Eugene Schaefer, 36.332. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 36.332_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE 36.332_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Stirrup-spout effigy vessel depicting a seated anthropomorphic fox (fox runner) with a fox head and human body. The figure wears a large circular disk headdress, a woven belt, and wrist and leg ornaments. He grasps the headdress ties in his hands. Condition: good.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.