Nasca, Ceremonial Drum, ca. 100. Earthenware. The Fred Olsen Collection. 1967-29-110

1. Visual Thinking Strategy:

  • What do you see in the artwork? 

  • What do you see that makes you say so?

  • What else do you notice?

​2. What do you think this object was used for? How can you tell? 

  • This object is a drum, and it is almost 2000 years old! Archeologists found it in South American around the Andes Mountains region in what is now known as the country of Peru. 
  • The drum was used in ceremonies to celebrate the harvest season. The knob at the top of the drum would rest between someone’s knees, and the round opening would be covered with stretched animal skin as a surface to play on!

​3What do you think the creatures on the drum are? 

  1. They are birds called vencejos, or white collared swifts. They are symbols of water because they arrive at the beginning of the rainy season, telling the farmers that it was time to plant.

4. Did you notice the cracks on the drum? Try and guess why they are there.  

  • When the archeologist found this drum, it was in many pieces. Imagine if you were to bury a mug underground. How would it be like in 2000 years?
  • The Krannert Art Museum hired conservators to piece back the pieces and restore this object. The process is similar to how we put puzzles together.