The art of metallurgy emerged in the central Andes around 1500 BC and reached its peak with the Sicán culture (AD 700-1675), when the arsenical copper technique had been mastered. . The expertise spread from this zone towards the northern Andes. Of particular note was the use of tumbaga, an alloy of gold and/or silver and copper that made pieces durable and malleable. Regarding precious metalworking, of note is a perfect mastery of both the manufacturing techniques (casting, lost-wax, laminate, welding, etc.) and the decorative techniques (chasing, engraving, embossing, openwork, wire drawing, filigree, etc.). Besides their financial value, the precious metalwork pieces were objects of considerable ritual and symbolic significance (gold symbolised the Sun and silver symbolised the Moon).

Creatormuisca (Search Europeana for this person)
CollectionMuseu de Cultures del Món
(Museu de Cultures del Món)
Repository Page
Web Page
Subject Termsfigures (representations), figure (representation), tumbaga (alloy)
ProviderInstitut de Cultura de Barcelona (ICUB)