Quero (qero, kero): feline head

Inca (Inka)
late 17th–early 18th century
more object details

General Description

Modeled quero forms developed around the middle of the 17th century, representing exclusively feline and human heads. Wear around the rim and body, as well as repairs at the ear, indicate that this feline vessel was actually used. The complex scene along the back is considerably worn; however, almond and diamond shapes along the head and neck likely identify the main form as a jaguar, or otorongo. For the Inca, this wild predator was associated with the untamed eastern quarter, or Antisuyu. The scenes on the back often depict confrontation or social relations between Inca and Antis individuals. During the Spanish Colonial period, the ideological dichotomy between a “tame” Inca and “wild” Antis was perpetuated through these quero designs.

Adapted from

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Inca: Conquests of the Andes / Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes, Label text [1975.25.McD; 1975.26.McD], 2015.