Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Semi-arid North > Las Animas


In many ways, the Las Ánimas groups broke with the past to begin a new cultural tradition. The formerly common tembetás or lip adornments of the El Molle culture evolved into amulets, sometimes with holes so they could be worn as pendants, indicating a profound change in custom. The consumption of hallucinogenic substances persisted, but the previously popular pipes were replaced with the snuffing paraphernalia so typical of the San Pedro culture of the Atacama region and of the Tiwanaku Altiplano. Their ceramic and metallurgy industries, in turn, reflect strong stylistic influences from trans-Andean cultural developments, especially from the Aguada culture of northwest Argentina. This reflects the close cultural ties that existed between these peoples. The Las Animas Complex was the common underlying culture upon which the widely divergent Diaguita and Copiapó societies of the semi-arid North region would later be built.