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AIC | Virtual Lecture: Inca Textiles under Colonial Rule
January 13, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 5:45 pm
Inca textiles—especially tapestry-woven tunics—are some of the finest cloth ever created in the ancient Andes of South America. However, the violent conquest of the Inca Empire by Spanish forces dramatically changed Inca society, their artistic traditions, and the clothes that they wore. Two enigmatic fragments of an Inca tunic in the Art Institute’s collection illustrate this history.
Join Andrew Hamilton, associate curator of Arts of the Americas, in an exploration of these unique works, on view in Gallery 136 through spring 2022.
In this talk, you will come to understand the appearance and usage of the original tunic; the tunic’s elusive designs, called tocapus in Quechua; the European design influences manifested in the garment; and how an elite Indigenous man might have worn such a tunic to express his nobility under colonial rule. Most importantly, this talk will illuminate the knowledge and skills of the tunic’s weavers and show how their work upheld long-standing Inca techniques while also inventing new ones in response to their much-changed lives in the Viceroyalty of Peru.
Please note that all event times listed are in central time.
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Image: Fragment (Tunic), 1532/1700. Inca; probably Cuzco or Lake Titicaca region, southern highlands, Peru. Bessie Bennett Endowment.