COLLECTION D'UN GRAND AMATEUR
Post Lot Text
COLONIAL WOOD CEREMONIAL KERO
HIGHLANDS,16th CENTURY A.D.
The ceremonial drinking vessel carved with the portrait of a sober-faced Indian dignitary with long, aquiline nose, small lozenge-shaped yes and thin slightly parted lips, raised ears to the sides, the face painted decoratively with three horizontal bands of color perhaps denoting face paint, wearing a diamond patterned headband, the reverse with a procession of richly costumed warriors in 'paint cloisonne' technique, with shallowly excised areas filled with resinous pigment, each soldier marching and holding a standard in the outstretched hand, the tall neck painted with elongated flowers of the chinchircoma blossoms.
Keros date back as a Pre-Conquest goblet at least to the 7th century A.D. and were used to consume chicha, maize beer. These ritual drinking vessels which often came in pairs were required when two individuals drank together. It is postulated that in Inca times these were utilized to consolidate relations between local communities and the Inca state. According to Spanish chroniclers, in ritual drinking events of Inca and non-Inca elite, a pair of keros would be exchanged during toasts; keros were also given as gifts by the ruler to the ruling, provincial nobility. Keros were equally a token of the Inca's benevolence towards a particular province.