Gold, silver and platinum ...
... are often and easy to find in Peru. Adventurers
and gold-diggers fetch precious metals as nuggets and pads out of the
river sand or feeder layers this very day. For the Incas, they were
mythical bonded with „mother earth“ and renewed themselves frequently
by the strength of the sun. They did not know iron. The Incas had a
brilliant knowledge of the treatment of precious metals earlier than
the Spanish. They knew how to cast, drive, braze and alloy gold and
also how to define the melting points of gold. The exhibition of the
Inca Treasures is a textbook of highly-developed art of goldsmithing.
For the Incas, gold was not a substantial value ...
... they did not know the meaning of money. Gold was
sacred and reserved for the gentry, similar to the fine wool of the
best lama species (Vicunas). They estimated as a gift of the gods and
the image of the sun, from which it was born. The brilliance and
converting were important, but not the amount of the gold. Razor-thin
gold masks had been regarded as precious as massive big cups or crowns.
The Spanish often had to melt down hundreds of pieces of jewellery to
send a gold bar to their king. The exposed treasures are evidence of
Gold served the Incas in life and death ...
... and there priests took sacred beverages from big
golden cups, but they also teared the vellicating heart out of the
chests of the prisoners of war with golden knives („tumis“) as gods
sacrifices. Golden instruments were used in medicine, golden jewellery
attended the dead in the grave. Gold earned the Inca sovereigns as sons
of the sun adoration and force, gold sealed the destiny of their
peoples. Not much remained, neither from the people, nor from the
treasures. The shown Inca treasure gives us a feeling of the brilliance
and the high culture of the Inca peoples of the Andes.
Gold and the avidity for it ...
... drove the Spanish to Latin America. They incured
enormous exertions, battled their way through forests, adversary hosts
and gasped exhausted for breath in the highlands. They left their
families and women behind, did not know if they would return. The
located, blackmailed or stolen gold only had a substantial value for
them. They distrusted the new gods and regarded themselves as the true
owners of all treasures in the new spanish settlements. The gold did
not bring good luck to them soever: they killed each other, were
blagged by pirates, scuttled by storms on their way to Spain and caused
the first and biggest inflation of Europe and the new countries: The
gold treasure shown conformed in Peru to the countervalue of a few
ducks produced in Spain.