Peru lies in Western South America and is widely known for being home to the ancient Incan city and having part of the Amazon forest, a unique rainforest ecosystem. The country has a strong background in the Inca civilization that was not only highly organized but also established a robust economic foundation in agriculture, fisheries, and mining. It was a Spanish colony following the Spanish invasion and conquest of the Inca Kingdom which had ruled the region and had remarkable wealth in silver and gold. The system used by the Inca was uniquely organized, and the administration would allocate land to peasant families that cultivated it to meet their needs. The state then levied taxes through obtaining labor from the subjects. The male heads of every household would work in the lands owned by the Inca administration as well as actively participate in the construction of infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Under the Inca Kingdom, provision of labor to the administration was not made through coercion. Instead, people were cheerfully working for their government in return for the favors extended to them. Even though the Spanish were mightier than the Inca, their influence was immensely undermined by the fact that the leaders in the new colony schemed against one another as epitomized by Pizarro's sanctioned execution of Diego de Almagro in 1538. Such open rivalries culminated into armed conflicts that eventually threatened the clout of Spanish colonialists in Peru. Therefore, revolts from a section of the Spanish led to the end of colonialism. Modern Peru is a consequently a revolutionary country which was born out of a struggle initiated by the Spanish-American landowners and their troops to extricate themselves from the Spanish colonization. For more than a hundred years, Peru was ravaged with frequent wars including the 1864 to 1866 war with Spain, unsuccessful war of the Pacific which pitted Spanish Peru against Chile from 1879 to 1883 (Hunefeldt, 130). Nonetheless, in 1825, Peru extricated itself from the yoke of Spanish colonization by being declared as a nation. That notwithstanding, it only achieved freedom from a dictatorship with the inauguration of president Jose Luis Bustamentey Rivero.
With the movement of populations into the interior fertile river valleys in which civilization in the country was founded, the Peruvian civilization grew into organized cultures such as the Chavin and the Sechin (Calvo and Enoch 2). The Chavin had unique religious iconography which entailed striking figurative depictions of different animals. Even though the Spanish imposed cultural changes on the Peruvians upon their colonization of the region, the Peruvian culture remained a quintessential mix of Hispanic and native traditions. Though the dominant traditional Chavin and Sechin cultures declined at around 5th century BC, various other regional cultures including Moche, the Saliner and the Paracas emerged with their impressive artistic and technological advances (Calvo and Enoch 9). Some of the advances exhibited by these new cultures included kiln-fired ceramics and complex weaving techniques. The Inca Empire through its descendants preserved and developed their ways even with the advent of globalization. For instance, the old Inca seat of Cuzco has been historically protected by the natives as a representative of their cultural capital. Catholicism remains a historical source of the sense of national belonging and cultural identity among the Peruvians. The present artifacts from Peru show that the empire had impressive architectural achievements as well as an exemplary textile industry unique in its time.
Calvo, Maria L., and J. M. Enoch. "Ancient Peruvian optics with emphasis on Chavin and Moche cultures." Atti della Fondazione Giorgio Ronchi (2007).
Hunefeldt, Christine. A brief history of Peru. Infobase Publishing, 2014.
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