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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is an editorial conclusion to Part 6, building on ideas that appeared in chapters on Inca aesthetics and the production of art and craft goods. The concluding chapter draws attention to the ways that Inca media and technology diverged from European value systems, and the ways that those differences led to biased interpretations of Andean cultural achievements. Questions of Inca civilization were central to the discourse of Spanish imperial expansion in the Andes, influencing written accounts intended to denigrate or defend the Inca legacy. Spanish writers did not appreciate the value of Inca craft production, nor did they fully comprehend the ways that Inca people preserved and deployed historical knowledge, technology, and cosmology. Modern scholars continue to wrestle with the expectations of colonial authors as they seek a more complete reconstruction of a distinctively Inca approach to the arts and sciences.

Keywords: Inca aesthetics, art, craft, Andes, cosmology

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