Peru, Colonial Inka style, 16th Century / Kero (Waisted Cup) / after 1550Peru, Colonial Inka style, 16th Century
Kero (Waisted Cup)
after 1550

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Creator Nationality: South American; Pre-Columbian; Peruvian
Creator Name-CRT: Peru, Colonial Inka style, 16th Century
Title: Kero (Waisted Cup)
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1550
Creation End Date: 1650
Creation Date: after 1550
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Furniture and woodwork
Materials and Techniques: wood, inlaid pigments
Dimensions: Diameter of mouth: 14.4cm, Overall: 18.4cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1946.233
Credit Line: Gift of John Wise

Kero cups, used to drink the corn beer chicha, were essential items of Inka statecraft. Made in identical pairs, they may have affirmed the drinkers' equality but also their obligation to one another. Native use of paired keros continued into the Spanish Colonial period, the date of the two shown here.

The non-figurative example is closest to pre-conquest models, which often feature geometric designs extremely important in Inka art but not at all understood. On the second, two armies converge, the Inka, facing right and dressed in tunics (shirts) with waistbands, and their opponents, perhaps eastern jungle people (the Anti), whose severed body parts are heaped in a grisly centerpiece.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1946.233
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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