Cristiana Bertazoni (Centro de Estudos Mesoamericanos e Andinos, Universidade de São Paulo)

Friday, 2 March 2012, 6.00 to 7.30pm, Birkbeck, Room G15, Malet Street, London  WC1E 7HX (Entrance via Torrington Place)

This paper presents an iconographical analysis of Inca colonial beakers (qeros) in order to offer an insight into Inca visual culture. In particular, it analyses one of the media of expression the Incas used in order to disseminate their values and ideology. A significant number of qeros portray scenes of battle between Incas and western Amazonian Indians (Antis), often with Amazonian fauna and flora forming a backdrop. It seems that from all the four corners of the Inca Empire, the Antisuyu (the Amazonian part of Tahuantinsuyu) is the quarter that holds a special place when it comes to the imagery displayed on Inca qeros. Bearing this in mind, the iconography of some of these wooden vases will be studied in order to better understand the images of the Antisuyu and its inhabitants which the Incas chose to represent through this particular medium.

Dr Cristiana Bertazoni is a founder member and researcher at the Centro de Estudos Mesoamericanos e Andinos at the Universidade de São Paulo (CEMA – USP). Her main research interest is on Pre-Columbian and Colonial Andean History, with special focus on the ways of interaction that the Inca Empire developed with the indigenous groups of Western Amazonia. She holds a PhD from the Department of Art History and Theory at the University of Essex where she has worked as a curatorial advisor for the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art and also as one of the editors for the academic electronic journal Arara (Art and Architecture of the Americas). Cristiana is currently working on the publication of her PhD thesis entitled Antisuyu: An Investigation of Inca Attitudes to their Western Amazonian Territories. At the moment she works as curatorial assistant for the Americas Section at the British Museum and since October 2011 is an Associate Research Fellow at the Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies, School of Arts, Birkbeck.