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At Home with the Sapa Inca: Architecture, Space, and Legacy at Chinchero

Stella Nair

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ISBN 10: 1477302506 / ISBN 13: 9781477302507
Published by University of Texas Press
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Title: At Home with the Sapa Inca: Architecture, ...

Publisher: University of Texas Press

Binding: Paperback / softback

Book Condition: New

About this title


By examining the stunning stone buildings and dynamic spaces of the royal estate of Chinchero, Nair brings to light the rich complexity of Inca architecture. This investigation ranges from the paradigms of Inca scholarship and a summary of Inca cultural practices to the key events of Topa Inca's reign and the many individual elements of Chinchero's extraordinary built environment.

What emerges are the subtle, often sophisticated ways in which the Inca manipulated space and architecture in order to impose their authority, identity, and agenda. The remains of grand buildings, as well as a series of deft architectural gestures in the landscape, reveal the unique places that were created within the royal estate and how one space deeply informed the other. These dynamic settings created private places for an aging ruler to spend time with a preferred wife and son, while also providing impressive spaces for imperial theatrics that reiterated the power of Topa Inca, the choice of his preferred heir, and the ruler's close relationship with sacred forces.

This careful study of architectural details also exposes several false paradigms that have profoundly misguided how we understand Inca architecture, including the belief that it ended with the arrival of Spaniards in the Andes. Instead, Nair reveals how, amidst the entanglement and violence of the European encounter, an indigenous town emerged that was rooted in Inca ways of understanding space, place, and architecture and that paid homage to a landscape that defined home for Topa Inca.


"This book will be heralded by architectural historians, art historians, archaeologists, ethnohistorians, and Andeanists of all disciplines. . . . The author builds significantly on previous studies of Inca royal estates (chiefly those by Morris and Niles) by focusing on the site of Chinchero. . . . The book will make a significant contribution to Andean studies and will be a welcome addition to studies of Inca royal estates, the operations of the Inca state, Inca architecture and the built environment, and Inca history." Author: Carolyn Dean, Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of A Culture of Stone: Inka Perspectives on Rock and Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ: Corpus Christi in Colonial Cuzco, Peru

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