The Exquisite Craftsmanship of the Inca Potters (and their ancestors)

Inca pottery was a product of Inca conquests.
In Cusco the Incas brought the cream of the empires potters with a view of discovering their trade secrets and expanding production. 

Two main streams can be detected in Inca pottery:
  • the "Chimu" techniques with "Mochica" reminiscences as in the black ware made by the north-coast potters of Chanchan and Lambayeque.
  • the forms and motifs are typically Inca and the style is distinct from any other. 

A beautiful stirrup-spout vessel shows two fardo-bearers, decorated in polychrome.

Height 20 cm.

Museo Amano, Lima, Peru.    

INCA Pottery
This very elegant, long-necked vessel is a terracotta recepticle of Inca imperial style and is decorated with Parrots, flowers and priestesses of the sun.

Height 34 cm.

Museo Regional de Cuzco, Peru.


INCA Pottery
A small Inca aryballos from near Cuzco, typical Inca imperial style with geometric decorations (Id love to have this on my coffee table!).
The neck of this piece is decorated with a very stylized human face.

Height 14 cm.

Museo Regional de Cuzco, Peru.



INCA Pottery
This small Inca aryballos is a replica of the much larger jars used for transporting water. 

They were carried on the backs, while strapped to the body by a strap which goes through the handles on both sides and around the bearers forehead.

Height 27 cm.

Museo Arqueologico, Lima, Peru.

INCA Pottery

A small Inca aryballos.

The design and relief decoration suggests the shape of a certain type of squash. 

Height 16 cm.

Museo del Banco Central de Reserva, Lima, Peru.    

INCA Pottery Museo Arquelogico, Lima, Peru.
The smooth features of this young Mochica warrior (northern Peru) testify to the intensity of expression the Inca potters were able to achieve.

Height 32.5 cm. Circa A.D. 400-600.
Museo Arquelogico, Lima, Peru.


Museo Arquelogico, Lima, Peru
One of my personal favorites is this Stirrup-spout jar, Mochica style (northern Peru). The face of an old chief, full of wisdom, probably a shaman. The skill of the potter gives us the realistic features which almost allow us to glimpse at how men must have thought and felt some 1,500 years ago. 
Height 27 cm. Circa 600-400 B.C.
Museo Arquelogico, Lima, Peru.