The Moche (Mochica). By: Emily Volovitz . Basic History/Significant Events. The Moche began on the first century A.D. Civilization was established on the North Peruvian Desert between the Andes and the Pacific.
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The Moche (Mochica) By: Emily Volovitz
Basic History/Significant Events • The Moche began on the first century A.D. • Civilization was established on the North Peruvian Desert between the Andes and the Pacific. • This wasn’t an empire although it was a group of city-states that intertwined with each other’s cultures very well. • The different settlements were located from the Lambayeque to Nepeña river valleys. • The settlements were controlled by rulers with political and religious influence. They were picked whether they were born into the ruler's family. It was matrilineal/family oriented. • There is evidence for two separate regions for the Moche (naturally detached: Paijan Desert): Northern Moche in Sipan/Southern Moche at Huacas de Moche. • The Moche can be divided into 3 distinct time periods • Early Intermediate (AD 100-550 AD) • Middle Horizon (AD 550-950 AD) • Late Intermediate (AD 950-1200 AD)
Economy • Each settlement had ceremonial centers where good were produced and the villages where in control of the crops. • Natural Disasters (ENSO) affected economy. • The Moche had an abundant amount of canal (900km)/irrigation networks for agricultural benefits. • Crops: beans, corn, squash, chilies, peanuts, cotton, avocado, guavas • Domesticated animals: llamas, guinea pigs, and ducks • Fishing/Hunting was of importance as well. • High monetary status because of gold and metal usage/creations • Most economic success came from ceramics/weaving. They are famous for the craft and art they built. Many were based on sexual acts. • They had an intricate and systematic trading network (extended from the Andes to Rainforests.
Basic Religion • The Moche were polytheistic and believed in deities, but there are many different theories to their religions and beliefs. Because The Moche had different time periods, it is said that they had about four Gods throughout their whole establishment. • One of the most significant deities of the Moche was the Moon (Si), (Moon Virgins.) • They built a Temple of the Moon (Huanca de la Luna.) • They believed the Moon permitted the ability to see in the dark, and brought cool air. Also, oceans were dominated by the Moon as well as the bodies of women. • The most recent theory is of how they were possibly not based on a religion, rather a practice (curanderos.) • The Moche might have not even had a civilization centralized on religion but focused and based on polydemonism. • The four Gods: • Supreme God/Creator/Deity that lived in Mountains • Fang-God (son of supreme God) with feline mouth and possibly a twin (influenced dualism in culture) • Radiant God that always had armor (more human presence/reflects military side of Moche) • Theory of Gods of earthquakes/wind
Basic Culture/Morality • Human Sacrifices: The Moche believed in human sacrifices. The two ways of sacrificing: • Rolling down a cliff/mountain • Being skinned alive • They also made human and/or animal offerings. • A rite they had was to frequently consume abundant amounts of coca in raw form. Their artwork often portrays their consumption of coca or some time of herb. • They partook in ceremonial race/dances. There are diverse theories in which why they took place, but it is possible that the dances were shamanistic. • Marriage was extremely significant and they had a tradition with pots and maize flour. • Their art and craft included much sexual activity in many different ways and reflected upon their actions in the civilizations. • The Moche were involved in lots of violence and sex. • In Huanca de La Luna/Sol many body remains were found (dismembered or decapitated). Their art also provides evidence to their brutal violence used upon the people. It shows warriors, war, decapitation, and other extreme violent acts.
Rise & End • The Moche never actually had a rise. Their importance simply remains in their exquisite artwork and craft. • The Moche collapsed in approximately 800 AD. • El Niño struck the Andean coast in the 6th century. This caused the decline of the Moche civilization. El Niño flooded the settlements and ruined the pyramids and buildings that were constructed. The agriculture declined because of unwanted chemicals and harmful substances. Stability was over for the climate and the Moche slowly but surely died off.