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Kero beakers with depiction of a battle scene

<i>Kero</i> beakers with depiction of a battle scene

Kero beakers with depiction of a battle scene

Wood inlaid with pigment

H: 20.5; W: 21.5; D: 12 cm (each)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Maremont, Chicago, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

Accession number:



Keros, cylindrical cups with flaring rims, were used for the consumption of chicha - Andean maize beer. These ritual drinking vessels were of paramount importance in the maintenance of social and political relations in the Andes. During the Inca period, keros were typically made in pairs, as etiquette required that two individuals drink together, as a sign of reciprocity. Only after the Conquest were the keros decorated with pictorial scenes rather than geometric patterns. Warriors, Inca infantry troops, can be seen on each of these keros, under the Sun and Moon Deities, fighting a Spanish squadron on horses. They represent the Warriors of the Sun in opposition to the Warriors of the Cross.

From the Israel Museum publications:

Ekholm, Gordon F., The Maremont Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, Israel Exploration Society in cooperation with the Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum