Inka Road: Qero cups

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

Pair of Inka qeros, AD 1470–1532. Near Cusco, Peru. Wood, 14 x 11 cm. 


Qero cups were filled with water or chicha (fermented maize beer) and were primarily used in Inka toasting rituals. Qeros were used in pairs to reflect the Andean concept of duality—of opposite yet complementary halves—which informed all aspects of Inka society, from their conception of the cosmos to the way they designed their cities.

Photo by Ernest Amoroso / National Museum of the American Indian