The art of being Diaguita

Diaguita tricolor vessels and their shamanic geometries

Using a number of minimal units, combined and multiplied through the application of the principle of symmetry, the Diaguita potters were able to create optical effects that went beyond a simple desire to decorate their ceramic pieces. Recent investigations have associated these geometric designs with ritual practices, thereby relating them to visions caused by the inhalation of hallucinogenic substances. In this sense, Diaguita visual art is tied to shamanic experience and as such alludes to a society with a strong religious tradition. (Text loosely inspired on investigations into Diaguita art and shamanism conducted by archaeologist Paola González)