By Carolyn J Dean
An incredible contribution to either artwork historical past and Latin American reviews, A tradition of Stone bargains refined new insights into Inka tradition and the translation of non-Western paintings. Carolyn Dean specializes in rock outcrops masterfully built-in into Inka structure, exquisitely labored masonry, and freestanding sacred rocks, explaining how sure stones took on lives in their personal and performed an essential function within the unfolding of Inka background. studying the a number of makes use of of stone, she argues that the Inka understood development in stone as a fashion of ordering the chaos of unordered nature, changing untamed areas into domesticated areas, and laying declare to new territories. Dean contends that knowing what the rocks signified calls for seeing them because the Inka observed them: as very likely animate, sentient, and sacred. via cautious research of Inka stonework, colonial-period bills of the Inka, and modern ethnographic and folkloric reviews of indigenous Andean tradition, Dean reconstructs the relationships among stonework and different facets of Inka existence, together with imperial enlargement, worship, and agriculture. She additionally scrutinizes meanings imposed on Inka stone by way of the colonial Spanish and, later, through tourism and the vacationer undefined. A tradition of Stone is a compelling multidisciplinary argument for rethinking how we see and understand the Inka previous.
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Extra info for A Culture of Stone: Inka Perspectives on Rock
27 The carved upper surface of the monolith, with its terraces, steps, and channels, reminds us of the ways the Inka carefully orchestrated the flow of water through their sites. 28 Flowing water visualizes the passage from and communication between under- and upperworlds. 29 The Inka’s “culture of water” clearly and importantly overlaps and intersects with their culture of stone, as water was also a transubstantial medium symbolic of the transitions between parts of the world and diverse stages of being.
Here I ponder the meanings of Inka ruins as they have changed over time, and focus on the ways tourists today, like the Spanish conquistadors of yesterday who paved their trail, continue to impose their expectations and desires onto Inka sites and monuments. In particular, non-Andean visitors to Inka sites today are encouraged by guides and guidebooks to discern surreptitious images in aniconic Inka rockwork. Whereas the Inka valued embodied essence over superficial appearance, today it seems that appearance now trumps essence.
Of all curved walls, surely the most sacred was part of the Inka’s main temple in Cuzco, the Qurikancha (Coricancha), a structure that will be discussed in greater detail later (figure 44). 17 Because the Spaniards built the church of Santo Domingo over its walls, placing the apse of the Catholic church close to the curved portion, exactly what the bowed wall contoured is a matter of conjecture. 18 In reconstruction no outcrop was uncovered, however. 19 It may also be the site where rock and remembrance 31 the first Inka sank a staff into the ground as a sign of Cuzco’s foundation.