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Los tocapus reales en Guamán Poma: ¿una heráldica incaica?

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Publication Date
  • Archaeology
  • Tocapus
  • Sapa Inca
  • Chronology
  • Arqueología
  • Tocapu
  • Sapa Inca
  • Cronología
  • Archaeology
  • Mathematics


Royal Tocapu in Guaman Poma: An Inca Heraldic?Tocapus are small quadrangles filled with geometric or stylized figurative motives that appear in series on textiles and ceremonial goblets of the Inca and Early Colonial Periods. Various interpretations have been proposed in order to explain their possible significance and meaning, but none to date has been convincing. This preliminary study is based on an analysis of the tocapus represented in the portraits of the Inca Emperors in the famous "Nueva crónica...", by Guaman Poma de Ayala. The systematic method the authors have used opens an innovative way of interpreting a certain number of tocapus, suggesting that they could be associated with specific Sapa Incas. Furthermore, some of those "heraldic" tocapus may be linked to archaeological artifacts on which they figure. Although the sample is small, the context of those objects on which the tocapulike images are found fits with the suggested attributions, which strenghtens the hypothesis. If this hypothesis is supported when applied to a larger sample, it would become a useful tool for the dating of artifacts bearing tocapus.

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