Collections of ancient Peru in the Archaeological Museum in Kraków

The collection of antique Peruvian tableware and textiles was created by an engineer from Kraków, Władysław Kluger (1849-1884), who worked for several years for the government of Peru (for instance, he designed and built a road across the Andes, from Peru to Bolivia and an irrigation canal transporting water from the eastern to the western slopes of the Andes). He acquired, at that time, an impressive collection consisting of more than 1000 archaeological and ethnographic objects (tableware, textiles, mummies and works of artistic craftsmanship of peoples living along the Pacific coast), which he donated to the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. Only a small part of the collection – 233 items, mainly tableware and textiles – have been preserved until now. Among them are ceramics of the Moche culture (200 BC – AD 600) – jugs shaped like human figures; tableware of the Chimu and Chancay cultures (1000-1476). Tableware of the Chimu culture were made in moulds shaped like plants, animals, houses or in moulds of an anthropomorphic shape. Creators of ceramics of the Chancay culture most frequently painted human figures on their works.

An important place in the Kluger’s collection is taken by cotton, llama or alpaca wool textiles (originating, like mummies, from his excavations in the necropolis of Ancon), usually made on a horizontal loom used in ancient Peru. Apart from fabrics, dolls and three-dimensional objects such as houses and trees made from cotton with plant fibre were produced.

 

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