Inca Mummies

Incan mummies (mallki) which escaped looters have, in most cases, been excellently preserved. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The Inca civilization of Peru, as with many other ancient Andean cultures, mummified many of their dead and buried them with valuable materials such as precious metal jewellery, fine pottery, and sumptuous textiles. Important mummies could also be[…]

Inka Textile Fabrication in the All-T’oqapu Tunic

The All-T’oqapu Tunic is an example of the height of Andean textile fabrication and its centrality to Inka expressions of power. Introduction The Inka were masters of statecraft, forging an empire that at its height extended from modern Quito, Ecuador to Santiago, Chile. One of the engines that drove the empire was the exchange of[…]

From Folklore to Exotica: Yma Sumac and the Performance of Inca Identity

Yma Sumac’s career embodied many of the contradictions that emerge when the international desire to consume exoticism clashes with the realities of traditional or indigenous cultures. The Voice Born high in the Peruvian Andes, a descendant of the last of the Incan Kings, Yma Sumac spent her childhood literally ‘talking’ with the birds, the beasts,[…]