How is the information shown?

Modes of visual narratives.

Representation mode. Toqapu qasana. Nested squares representing the origin of the Inkas. Ceramic jug. Imperio Inka, Andes Centrales del Perú 1400-1532 d.C. Colección Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú-Ministerio de Cultura de Perú, C-022941.

Series Mode. Group of warriors. Bowl, pyroengraved gourd. Río Loa, norte de Chile 1000-1400 d.C. Colección Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, 3123.

Scene Mode. Humans and marine creatures in action. Deep bowl, ceramic. Moche, costa centro norte del Perú, 1-700 d.C. Colección Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, 0779.

Scene Mode. Inka facing a warrior from the jungle (Anti). Quero cup, wood. Colonial, Perú Siglos XVI-XVIII. Colección Museo Colchagua, PE-MCOL 08 (180 x 120 mm).

Figurative language. Scene from Inka times. Quero-cup, wood. Andes Centrales del Perú, Período Colonial, Siglos XVI-XVIII. Colección Particular, PE-PLE 01.

Visual narratives: Presentation and Scene Modes.

Presentation Mode. Human faces, inactives. Metal quero-cups. Chimú, north coast of Peru, AD 900-1400. Colección particular, PE-FS04 a, b, c, d, e.

How is the information shown?

Whatever the local tongue, in the Andes it was possible to say things and convey information through sense-based languages—shapes, colors, textures, designs, sounds, smells and so on.  The origins of these languages can be traced back 5000 years, and over vast territories that encompass a wide variety of spoken languages.

Visual narratives can be conveyed in different ways:

 Presentation Mode

A single, isolated image is presented and understood on its own. Examples include famous individuals, deities, toqapus and various designs, as is currently the case with the Christian cross and the ’emoticons’.

 Series Mode

Several similar figures are presented in succession. Examples of these include Inka genealogical sequences and figures representing quantities.

 Scenes Mode

A group of figures is presented in action. In some cases, ethnic groups and/or important events such as wars can be identified in these scenes.


The mural of myths