Xuaca Sculpture No.1 (Sacred Vessel Series)

Xuaca Installation + Spirit Drawings MFA Exhibition (Drawings sold separately. See Works on Paper)



A Xuaca (pronounced “wha-ka”) is a sacred vessel that holds the spirit of a deceased person in an ancient Peruvian culture (Chinchorro). Family survivors make the vessel from reeds, bones, mud clay, seal skin and other rudimentary and organic materials to re-constitute the body. During the process of making this xuaca they spend time to reminisce, mourn and look forward to the spirit's enjoyment of its new resting place. Later once the spirit is comfortable in its xuaca they will be able to consult with him or her and ask for needed guidance in their everyday life.


The process of creating this bronze figure was an attempt to parallel the same process of preparing a xuaca and then to follow with the lost wax casting process typically used today for bronze. Organic materials were assembled into a fabric - palm fiber for muscles, sticks for bones, cloth for skin – dipped in wax, modeled and then cast in bronze.


In our culture, time is a precious commodity. People are generally not allowed to grieve beyond an amount of time that culture dictates. The artist was moved to execute the labor-intensive process in order to work through the death of a beloved family member in an engaging and active manner. The end result was the Xuaca/Vessel that become a permanent resting place for the beloved.  


Exhibition CV upon request.

Xuaca Sculpture No.1

SKU: Xuaca_1
  • 24"Wide x 24" Wide x 72" High. Lost wax hot cast bronze. Natural polished bronze finish. Drawings may be purchased separately. 

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