Step-Wave Motif

PicID 000010
Type Drawing
Category Object


The step-wave motif consists of a right-angled triangle in which the long, inclined side is stepped, and the vertical side ends in a wave curling either over the steps or backwards. In the second case the wave is often a meander. In Moche iconography the wave can be interpreted as a symbol for water or sky water (=clouds), while the combination of step and wave can be interpreted as a symbol for sky (= the back ornaments of the double-headed serpent) and water/sky water, on the basis of iconographic analysis. This motif is a good example of motif fusion in Moche graphic system. For a similar motif see. Bock 1988, 111, fig. 49.