Tumi (Knife)
On View In:

Artist:   Lambayeque  
Title:   Tumi (Knife)  
Date:   8th-10th century  
Medium:   Bronze  
Dimensions:   7 1/8 x 4 5/16 x 1/4 in. (18.1 x 10.95 x 0.64 cm)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John R. Kennedy  
Location:   Gallery Not on view  

A tumi is a knife with a flared, semicircular blade that was used in ceremonies throughout the ancient Andes. Lambayeque artists working in northwest Peru made especially dramatic and opulent examples for elite members of society. Lambayeque metalworkers were technologically advanced; they developed a unique type of bronze by alloying copper and arsenic, from which this blade was cast. Originally, this tumi was likely capped by an elaborate finial depicting an important Lambayeque deity, known as the Sicán Lord, executed in materials such as gold, silver, and turquoise

Object Description  
Classification:   Metalwork  
Physical Description:   Straight 'handle' flaring out to a thinner, fan-shaped blade  
Creation Place:   South America, Peru, Andean region, ,  
Accession #:   99.57.14  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts