Thursday, August 24, 2017


Andean cultures have cultivated their arts traditions for thousands of years. Early artists created works using gold and silver with ceramics and stone. Complex stone carvings and sculptures were common. Every aspect of life was a candidate for art or decoration, even in death. The Paracas Necropolis proved to be an excellent example of both structural art, ceramic art, and complex textile art that uses geometric designs, and a lot of it was tied in with local deities and other religions context.

Some of these early civilizations not only developed art, but their cities as well: the Wari Civilization developed town planning and the Mochicas developed hydraulic engineering and terrace cultivation. The use of bronze during the 9th-13th centuries contributed to the development of tools, which helped with these advancements as well.

After the Spanish arrived, they introduced the indigenous people to European styles of art and painting. They established the first art school for teaching Quechuas in the city of Cusco. Not only did these artists mimic the style, but the subjects were dressed in Western apparel.

by Teresa Burga
The 19th and the 20th centuries brought the introduction of Neoclassical styles and Romanticism, and photography became a thing. Media art, sculptures, contemporary art, and technology art all became mediums that emerged during the latter part of the 20th century. Teresa Burga is one artist who helped to push these new styles. Cristina Gálvez was another prominent artist and art educator. 

by Cristina Gálvez

Not a whole lot is known about the earliest literary works of the Incas and other pre-Columbian societies. It’s assumed that there was a history of oral storytelling, but there was also evidence of epic poetry. Many of these were centered around daily life and spiritual rituals.

After the Spanish arrived, the Spanish language was introduced to those who were already thriving there. Many of the writings during this time were typically on chronicling daily life and the land as well as activities and historical accounts. And actually later on, there were several indigenous people who wrote down histories and folklore of their tribes and culture.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, there was a shift in literary style where writers began to favor more European styles. Neoclassicism became a widely popular genre and was favored well into the 19th century. The 19th century also brought along the introduction of Modernism and Romanticism as well. By the time the 20th century came around, writers had embraced Modernism and were really making a name for themselves as part of the global literary scene. During the 1920s, two magazines were published as an outlet for the Avant-Garde literary movement. Writers and poets like César Vallejo and José Carlos Mariátegui were prominent proponents of this scene. Today, Peruvian writers span all genres including children’s lit. One of the more well-known writers today is Jaime Bayly whose novel No se lo digas a nadie has been made into a movie.

Up next: music and art

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