The Role of <i>Chicha</i> in Inca State Expansion

Tamara L. Bray

in Drink, Power, and Society in the Andes

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033068
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038575 | DOI:
The Role of Chicha in Inca State Expansion

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This chapter addresses the distribution of the aríbalos, a jar used to serve corn chicha, throughout the Inca Empire. While the form was standardized, variation in the size, design, and archaeological context of aríbalos speaks to the role of drinking in the Inca political economy. In particular, it concentrates on the functional, contextual, and iconographic significance of this vessel. In addition, a comparative study of the distribution of aríbalos from different sectors of Tawantinsuyu is given. In it, vessel size, frequencies, and contexts of finds are considered for the purpose of investigating how chicha figured in the imperial agenda through time and across space. The differential distribution of various sizes and styles of Inca aríbalos indicates that the state did not have a one-size-fits-all policy with regard to the circulation and presentation of chicha. Furthermore, valuable new insights are presented into the dimensional standardization of this vessel form.

Keywords: aríbalos; Inca Empire; state; chicha; drinking; political economy; Tawantinsuyu

Chapter.  7738 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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