Unknown1501 - 1750

Museo de América

Museo de América

“Kero” or ceremonial wooden vessel with pictorial decoration distributed across three bands. In the upper band, there is a landscape crowned by the sun and a river, the right bank of which has four characters holding keros while one of them also ploughs the land. On the other bank, there is a man working the fields, a woman with a kero and an aryballos, and another is seated with a kero in his hand and flanked by two characters, each with a seashell, who seem to be dancing. Under this band appears another one, with “tocapus” motifs. The lower band has a figure with an Incan helmet and shield. He is surrounded by spears with broken flails and bags (perhaps with ammunition) with birds clawing them. The scene is completed by “kantu” flowers. This could be a scene depicting the celebration of an agricultural rite, where the figures holding ritual vases make offerings to the sun (the central motif in the scene) in order to obtain good harvests. “Keros” were receptacles mainly for ceremonial use. At festivals and celebrations marked by the ritual calendar, these vases were used for chicha libations, the Andean ritual drink par excellence obtained by fermenting corn. Even though the production of keros reached its height during the Incan Empire, it already had a long tradition in the Andes, where conical wooden vessels were found from the Middle Horizon periods, such as Tiawanaku or Huari. The production of keros survived during colonial times, incorporating more elaborate decorations of floral, heraldic, daily life motifs as well as those taken from ceremonies, dances and legends. This is the case with this piece, which has a distinctive feature belonging to the colonial era: the type of figures and colours exhibit a European conception.

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  • Title: Kero
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1501 - 1750
  • Provenance: Peru
  • Original Tittle: Kero
  • Cultural Context: Inca - colonial
  • Type: Unknown
  • Rights: http://museodeamerica.mcu.es/
  • External Link: CERES