Inka Borders and the Power of Volatility: at the Fringes and Edges of Textile and Territory


ACLS Project Development Grants


Art History


In its claim to power, the Inka empire relied on a narrative of rootedness in the landscape and an ideology of relational attachment to the land to propel territorial expansion. This project explores how the Inkas used elite textiles within this narrative, bringing forth how internal versus external interests and entities were conceptualized spatially and materially. The project grant will advance ongoing research and written work regarding how the Inkas articulated spatial relationships at different scales, looking to structural and design details on cloth to suggest how they may have experienced their territorial space and, more particularly, their border areas.