The Ica-Chincha Culture

By the Ica-Chincha culture one refers to art that reigned in the Ica, Chincha and two other south Peruvian river valleys in the years 1000-1476 A.D. There is no full certainty as to the social structure of the culture, but apparently there was no strong central government. The situation was probably similar to the period of the Nasca culture on the south coast of Peru: ceramics of the same type was made in the area of few river valleys, but no federation existed.

The Ica-Chincha art that is primarily known for ceramics, was influenced by the Wari art. The colours and materials used in the Ica-Chincha ceramics carried on the long traditions of the south coast. Excluding the few fish and bird motifs, the ornamentation of the Ica-Chincha vessels is geometric, rectilinear and zonal, and it brings to mind a woven textile surface.

This bowl with stylized bird decorations is a good example of the Ica-Chincha ceramics. © Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú - Instituto Nacional de Cultura del Perú, Lima, Peru (Cat. 272)

A large amount of textiles were found in Ica-Chincha culture graves, including feather-ornamented fabrics like this. © La Fundacíon Museo Amano, Lima, Peru (Cat. 288)