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Urpu (Storage Jar): Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Urpu, a distinctively Inka vessel shape, is characterized by a pointed base, bulbous body, low handles, long, slender neck, and flaring rim. The pointed bottom helped balance the vessel in a depression in the earth. Rope was threaded through the handles and around the lug, then strapped onto porters' backs for transport. Rather than adopting the word urpu from the local Quechua language, early archaeologists called this type of vessel aryballos, a name borrowed from an ancient Greek vase form illustrated here in a line drawing. Urpu were produced in and around the Inka capital of Qosqo (Cuzco) for use in making, storing, and transporting food and beverages, in particular chicha or fermented maize beer.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: July 28, 2011