On 17 September 2016, at the AtemZUG exhibition during the famous Zuger Kunstnacht “Pure Felt – the Art of Empowerment” proudly presented the textile art installation “INTI” and our mission to expand Pure Felt`s social impact and economic empowerment concept from South Africa and Jordan to Peru to the public.
This art installation represents a tribute to the people of Peru, to Inti -the ancient Incan sun god representing our source of life- and to Mama Uqllu –deified in the Inca mythology as the daughter of the Sun god Inti, and the goddess who taught the Inca women the art of spinning yarn.
THE ART INSTALLATION – USE YOUR SENSES: SEE, TOUCH, LISTEN …
The heart of this art installation is a 1.20 m diameter warm-yellow woolen bulky yarn ball representing the sun; its woolen sun rays fill the entire space and are connecting all walls. The woolen yarn connects the sun with the earth, a maze called life, which is enabled by the sun. A life in which each individual and creature has its purpose and destiny and is finding his or its own way by walking their individual labyrinths. The sun of this installation can be explored by touch, the maze can be walked –partly straight-up, partly bent-, or even crawled.
The Inca believed in reincarnation. Those who obeyed the Incan moral code—ama suwa, ama llulla, ama quella (do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy)—went to live in the sun’s warmth. Others spent their eternal days in the cold earth. These texts also from part of the art installation.
Subtle meditative sounds of the jungle during the night -crickets, frogs, birds, and a random owl and monkey which must have inhibited the Inca Temples in the Macchu Picchu area at the time of the Incas- contribute to experiencing a strong connection with our origin.
During the planning and creation process of this art work the artists felt strongly connected to the likely often challenged, yet strong mathematical minds and geometric talents of the Inca architects. This art work is bringing together the PAST (ancient wool and craft techniques), PRESENT (modern abstract art installation), and FUTURE (empowerment and improved lives for unemployed women in Peru) in its own unique manner and is telling the story of the Incas for the benefit of today`s unemployed women of Peru. The high unemployment rates among youth and women in both cities and remote rural areas, Peru`s abundant alpaca and llama wool availability, and its strong wool craft heritage, are making Peru a third well-suited country for Pure Felt`s social impact programmes. We are working together with local NGO`s and foundations to safeguard sustainable impact and focus on the inclusion of vulnerable women and adolescent girls in our programmes (many of them victims of domestic violence which is a huge problem in Peru), providing them with education, jobs, self-esteem and a future.
The Inca Empire (called Tahuantinsuyu in old Quechua spelling), was an empire located in South America from 1438 C.E. to 1533 C.E. During that period, the Inca used conquest and peaceful assimilation to incorporate in their empire a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean mountain ranges. In 1533 C.E., Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca, was killed by the Spanish. At its height, Tahuantinsuyu included the full Andes mountain region, what are now Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and also extended into portions of what are now Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. The center of the empire was in the city of Cusco (Macchu Picchu), the center of the 4 provinces of the empire.
The sun was extremely important to the Incas, particularly for the people of the highlands, because it was necessary for the production of crops. The sun’s heat was also thought to cause rain. Subjects of the empire were allowed to worship their ancestral gods as long as they accepted the supremacy of Inti, the sun god, which was the most important god worshiped by the Inca. The Inca dedicated many ceremonies to the Sun and the Inca ruler was considered to be the living representative of Inti. The Incas would set aside large quantities of natural and human resources throughout the empire for Inti. Each conquered province was supposed to dedicate a third of their lands and herds to Inti as mandated by the Inca. Each major province would also have a Sun Temple in which male and female priests would serve.
Through the survival of the language and of a few residual traces of the culture, the Inca civilization was not destroyed. The great and relatively humane civilization of the Incas’ main legacy is inspirational, residing in the human ability to imagine that such a fabulously rich, well-ordered, and generally humane society once existed, high up in the Andean hills.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”
– Helen Keller