The Social Lives of Pots: Ceramic effigies, beer, and community in ancient Peru


October 15 | 2 PM | UTSA Southwest Campus | Russell Hill Rogers Lecture Hall


Rebecca Bria takes us deep into the Andean past to explore how the human effigy vessels that inspired artist Kukuli Velarde’s work were more than mere representations of individuals—in fact, these pots had active social roles within the ancient communities that crafted them. Bria, an archaeologist of precolonial Andean societies, presents exciting new evidence for how ritual libations with chicha beer in the Recuay Culture (AD 1–700) animated ceramic bodies, helped transform the dead into ancestors, and reaffirmed participants’ commitment to community. She explores how the Recuay example helps us reflect on the social impact of extraordinary objects, special foods, and community gatherings in our own lives, as well as how chichi continues to define Indigenous Andean feasts.
This talk is open to the San Antonio community. It will be accompanied by a virtual reality (VR) exhibition of ceramic vessels recovered from Bria’s excavations.

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UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts, UTSA Southwest School of Art