First things first… let’s refresh our memories!
The Andes Mountains are recognized as the birthplace of a number of the most culturally rich societies to date, including the Inca Empire. Otherwise known as Tawantinsuyu, or the “Land of the Four Corners,” the empire lined the western edge of South America, from Venezuela all the way along Chile to South America’s southern tip and crossing through Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. Although the civilization came to an untimely end, the everlasting impression it had on the world lives on.
We can measure the caliber of their work by reflecting on how much we know about the Incas, despite their leaving no written record of their history. Granted, they did ‘talk quipu’, which was their form of a record system. This method utilized knots and threads to communicate information, which is incredible in itself.
Although the Inca were known as ‘practical,’ they were also highly artistic! Geometric figures, sculptures of deities (specifically Inti, the sun god,) and handwoven textiles are a few of the building blocks that helped secure the Inca empire as one of the most prominent. They got much of their inspiration from nature since they attached powers to natural phenomena and worshiped resources such as the sun, water, and rocks.
Now that we’ve had our history lesson, it’s time to do some exploring! We might not be able to jump on the next flight to Cuzco, but we can surf over to the treasure box that is NOVICA. There are hundreds of beautiful pieces crafted by talented artisans that not only take us back to when the Inca roamed the Peruvian mountainside but also highlight the lasting cultural significance they had on the generations that followed.
Shine bright like the Intiq
Prepare to feel like a Quya (queen) and shine bright like the Intiq (sun) with the pieces below. Many of the Incan adornments were influenced by the sun, the moon, and other natural forces, which is likely where the inspiration came for the earrings and the necklace below. Geometric shapes were also used by the Inca for expressive purposes, which is reflected in the ring below. Sterling silver was a ‘frequent flier’ in Inca jewelry, along with the copper, bronze, and gold. We’re sure happy they were because we can’t get enough of these Peruvian jewels!
Dress to [E]mpress
Ponchos and patterns? Yes, please! I’ve always been a firm believer in brights colors, quality fabrics, and unique designs. Needless to say, Inca-inspired Peruvian designs are right up my alley. Don’t let the approaching warmer months cramp your style; there’s no doubt you can find an occasion for one of these beauties. Take the sweaters below, for example; they are perfect for a brisk morning walk or to wear on a beach bonfire date.
Weaving the best for [second to] last
Anything handwoven and/or leather…count me in! In my book, leather is always a good idea and an artisan-crafted wallet is no exception. With an embossed hummingbird, known as the ‘messenger of heaven’ in Inca tradition, a nice element of authenticity is added to the design of the wallet below. And thank goodness the Incas’ praised weaving practice, which dates back almost 2,000 years, stuck around! We can’t get enough of the clutch below, or any of these bags, for that matter.
We dream of Inca…
What better way to decorate your sacred space than with pieces unique to the Inca culture? Pillows and throws, area rugs, sculpture, vases, and anything (and everything) astronomy related are what dreams are made of!
The master craftsmanship, rich textures, and beautiful color combinations of the pieces below make them the perfect addition to your humble abode. (Warning: they might turn your dinner guests into roommates…don’t say we didn’t warn you!)
Ultimately, the Incan cultural significance is apparent not only on their native soil but also in dozens of countries around the world. Their work has impressed, inspired, and motivated millions and will surely continue to do so for centuries to come.