Exhibition 2014: INKA – Kings of the Andes
First Special Exhibition on the Inca Culture in Europe
2014 April 11th to November 23rd
Special Exhibition in cooperation with Linden-Museum Stuttgart.
The cooperative exhibition project “INKA- Kings of the Andes” by Linden-Museum together with the Lokschuppen Exhibition Centre is the first one to be entirely devoted to this amazing culture.
The Inca state was by far the largest indigenous empire that ever existed on the American continents. It extended over an area of almost 5.000 km along the Andes from Southern Colombia to Central Chile with some extensions into the Amazon basin.
The exhibition is subdivided into three major sections: Rise of the Empire, Imperial Phase, Conquest and Colonial Period. Each thematic section is linked to important Inca emperors in order to organise the exhibition's content more clearly.
The first section devoted to the roots of Inca culture by showing precious textiles and singular metal objects from the Huari and Tiahuanaco period ( 6th to 11th centuries AD.) together with gold crowns and ornaments of the Chimú Culture. For the first time ever Killke ceramics from the pre-Inca period is going to be displayed in this section. This topic which is based on the most recent archaeological data will be contrasted with Inca mythology.
The second and largest section of the exhibition starts with the origins of the Imperial phase, depicting the first major conquests of Viracocha Inca in the early 15th century. The conquest of the most important trade routes and especially the areas where the Llamas were bred were the precondition for the subsequent expansion of the empire. Viracocha’s successor, Pachacutic Inca Yupanqui (1438-1471 AD) not only enlarged his territories to include the central altiplano in what is now Peru, southern Ecuador, southern Bolivia and the Peruvian north coast, but was also renowned as an architect, who founded and created Cusco as an imperial city, the capital of the Inca empire. Moreover he is regarded as the architect of Machu Picchu, his country estate and sacred place at the same time.
Reconstructions of Inca architecture and a model of the Machu Picchu ruins (with some parts hypothetically reconstructed) illustrate in attractive installations the Inca concepts of architecture, governance and religion. The presentation of the Sun temple at Cusco will be a central attraction. In combination with gold objects from religious contexts and precious stone cups from temples this section presents a well-balanced picture.
Pachacutec’s son, Topa Inca Yupanqui is said to be the most important conqueror of the entire Inca period. Under his reign the Empire was extended to very large areas in today’s Ecuador, Northern Chile, parts of Amazonia, the remainder of the Peruvian coastal regions, the entire altiplano of Bolivia as well as Northwestern Argentina.
Valuable textiles, wooden cups, gold ornaments and a reconstructed habit of an Inca emperor will demonstrate the balance of power in the Inca state, the famous knotted strings, known as quipu, will represent state administration and finally the armour and weapons of an Inca warrior the conquests. In this section the reorganization of the agricultural production, the construction of important terraced slopes, the development of the national road system as well as the aspect of coastal navigation will be treated.
Under the next and last Inca emperor Huayna Capac the Inca State expanded to its maximum. This is the beginning of the last section “Spanish Conquest and Colonial Period”. Under his reign the Spaniards arrived in his empire and the European diseases with them. Huayna Capac eventually died of small pox. His sons, Huascar and Atahuallpa, were the last independent Inca rulers. But they got entangled in a war of succession, which finally enabled Pizarro to conquer their empire.
Mainly textiles will illustrate the Colonial Period, which retrained as the most important media of communication from the earliest archaeological periods in Peru to the Inca Empire. Colonial textiles are an excellent material to show the blending of the European and Inca culture. They are complemented by tableaux, which are portraying marriages of Europeans with members of the Inca noble class, as well as ceramic and silver objects.
A small final section deals with facts from the present. Today almost 30 million indigenus people, who mostly speack Quechua, the language of the Inca, are living in the area of the former Inca Empire. Many traditions from this important period have survived in this region although they are quite often interspersed with European elements.