Daniel Hannan

A show of ample and eerie majesty: British Museum’s Peru: A Journey in Time reviewed

By the time you tear yourself away, you will feel more clear-headed, yet vastly more uneasy

Left, a Cupisnique pottery vessel in the shape of a contorted body, Peru, 1200–500 BC and right, a drinking vessel with a painted scene showing a human figure wearing both Western and Inca attire, 18th century. Credits: Left - Museo De Arte De Lima. Donated by Petrus and Veronica Fernandini. Photo by Daniel Giannoni. Right - © 2021 The Trustees of the British Museum

Growing up on a farm outside Lima, I was aware that indigenous Peruvians did not understand time in the same way that their white countrymen did. On our visits to the highlands, we would encounter a very different mode of thinking. Ask an Andean villager where the next settlement was and you’d be told, ‘aquisito no más’ — just over here.

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