Quero (qero, kero): Inca noble and woman holding branch

CULTURE:
Inca (Inka)
DATE:
1630–1780
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General Description

Through twenty years of collaborative research, conservators and scholars have determined the materials and techniques used in the production of colonial wooden goblets, or quero. The polychrome surface was made through inlay with a resin known as mopa mopa (Elaeagia pastoensis), which was imported to Cuzco from the north-eastern Andes along with tropical wood for the vessels. The resin was mixed with pigments and pressed into carved spaces on the vessel until flush with the surface. While the final product was perhaps meant to emulate European painting, the technique resulted foremost in a uniquely colonial Andean object. The “Rainbow Motif” scenes are the least narrative of colonial quero, representing separately an Inca male or Inca coya (queen) under an arching rainbow around the vessel surface. The rainbow, which projects from a jaguar head or figure, was an auspicious sign and a portent of rain for the Inca.

Adapted from

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Inca: Conquests of the Andes / Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes, Label text [1983.W.1848; 1983.W.1853], 2015.