Abstract and Keywords
Ceremonial drinking bound Inca elites to each other and to their subjects, and vessels made of precious metal, wood, and pottery communicated status differences in Inca times. These vessels are mentioned in early colonial dictionaries and chronicles because some forms, particularly the wooden quero cup, continued to be important for indigenous elite social actions after the European invasion. Colonial queros often have painted decorations, some of which carry iconographic messages that could be shared by drinking partners. These tocapu designs constitute a symbol system that articulates the changing status of Andean elites as Spanish colonial rule spread through the Andes.
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