Wooden beaker with flaring shape, wider at top, decorated with inlaid pigmented resin. Cup divided into upper and lower sections by raised rim around center, decorated with repeating diamond and dot pattern. Upper section has procession scene with Inca men in feathered regalia, European men in colonial apparel, and man of African descent playing drum. Lower section of cup has repeating decorative motif.

Cup (Qero)

Inca culture

Colonial period (1532-1821), 18th century

Here, seven Inca men in full-feathered regalia meet two musicians in Spanish apparel. The Inca used vessels like this qero for drinking beer made from maize (corn). Various Andean cultures, from the ancient period to well into the period of Spanish colonization, adopted this same basic shape in silver, gold, ceramic, and wood. Painted surfaces distinguish colonial-era wooden qeros; artisans mixed pigments like cinnabar with plant resin to create a durable, waterproof lacquer.