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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Incan Art : Incan Wooden Ceremonial Beaker
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Incan Wooden Ceremonial Beaker - PF.1331
Origin: Southern Highlands of Peru
Circa: 1450 AD to 1500 AD
Dimensions: 8" (20.3cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Wood

Location: United States
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When the European conquistadors arrived in Peru, they were astonished by the wealth and splendor of the Inca nation. In the clash of cultures that followed, much Inca art was literally trampled underfoot. It was the buried glories of earlier Peruvian civilzations that survived unmolested to modern times, while little Inca art remains. Thus this beaker is doubly remarkable, for it is a splendid example of Inca craftemanship and it is also made from wood, less durable than stone, clay or metal. With incised surface decorations filled in with paint, it depicts a number of male and female figures and assorted flowers and animals, including parrots and fish. Are these gods and goddesses of the Inca pantheon? A Peruvian Adam and Eve in their garden? Very possibly, this is a marriage goblet, created to celebrate a wedding. As we hold it in our hands today, the imagination takes flight back to an exotic and mysterious world on the brink of change. - (PF.1331)


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