Inka Road: Arybalo

Photo by Ernest Amoroso / National Museum of the American Indian
May 28, 2015
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Photo by Ernest Amoroso / National Museum of the American Indian

Inka arybalo, ca. AD 1450–1532. Juan Benigno Vela (Pataló), Ecuador. Ceramic, 17 x 23 cm.

The arybalo is a ceramic form unique to the Inka period. This form was standardized and produced throughout Tawantinsuyu (the Inka Empire), and was found in all sizes. While the form of the arybalo was consistent, the designs on each vessel were often particular to the region where it was made. These vessels were used in many ways, from personal “water bottles” for travelers or workers to making and storing chicha (fermented maize beer).

Photo by Ernest Amoroso/National Museum of the American Indian