Cup with painted designs in yellow, red and white; from top down band of geometric designs, band of figures and animals, band of stylized birds and geometric shapes, band of stylized flowers and birds

Vessel, 1300-1550

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Ancient Andeans of all classes used qeros for toasting with chicha, or maize beer, during feasts. Social drinking was central to Inka society. Inka rulers provided chicha as a gesture of generosity and reciprocity to the subjects whose labor and resources they commanded. Ritual drinking was also important in forming alliances with neighboring societies, and a conquered ruler’s refusal to drink was a costly mistake. Qeros were typically made in pairs as a reflection of Inka beliefs in duality and reciprocity; however subordinates often received a smaller vessel.

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Vessel
Role
Artist
Accession Number
99.57.2
Curator Approved

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Cup with painted designs in yellow, red and white; from top down band of geometric designs, band of figures and animals, band of stylized birds and geometric shapes, band of stylized flowers and birds