Wealth and power in Chimor, and the value of a distinctive seashell
The focus of the Chimor Kingdom was its royalty. But dominant and wealthy though they were, Chimu kings and queens - like everyone else on Peru's desert coast - faced an environment that had the power to destroy. Extreme weather events brought on by El Nino conditions could threaten catastrophe two or three times every decade. The apparent influence of the Sea Goddess may have been why an unusual seashell was a highly prized status symbol.