Gold was symbolically associated with the sun in ancient Peru. It was valued for its sacred power, not as currency. These ear spools (earrings with large posts) were made for someone of the highest rank, as is reflected in their rich imagery. The central scene of each depicts a ruler wearing a crescent-shaped feather headdress and ear spools. He holds a kero (ceremonial cup) in his left hand and a feather fan in his right, while being carried on a litter (wheel-less vehicle) by similarly dressed monkey attendants. These objects are superb examples of Chimu artists' refinement of metalworking techniques. Made of a gold-copper alloy, they weigh five ounces each (about equivalent to the weight of a smart phone). They were worn in openings in distended earlobes, stretched by introducing gradually larger earrings over time.To learn more about the ear spools, visit the Interactive Learning Station (ILS) in the northeast corner of this gallery.