Inca Statuettes

 In Ocean Academy

By: Tom Goldberg/History Teacher

Students in U.S. History I learned about the cultures of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations that dominated Mesoamerica at various times between A.D. 400 and 1530.  Many artifacts were found from all of these civilizations, but we paid special attention to the gold and silver statuettes found made by the Incas.  These statuettes were meant to honor Inca priests and the great llama god Urcuchillay.   Mr. Hayden, the art teacher, showed the class an easy way to replicate these statuettes.  For the llamas, students used tinfoil to acquire the basic shape of the animal.  Next, they coiled steel wire around the tinfoil to add stability, reinforce the shape, and to provide a surface that clay would be able to stick to easily.  Once students molded a layer of clay around their statuette, they painted it gold and then sprayed it with gold spray paint to give it some extra shine.  For the Inca priests, students molded tinfoil into the shape of a head and then added a layer of clay surrounding the tinfoil.  For these statuettes, students had to carve details into the face, as the faces of the Inca priests that were uncovered had very detailed facial features.  The head was then glued to a styrofoam cone and then wrapped in student-made Inca-style robes and headdresses.  Staff and students had a great time getting hands-on with history!

Showing 9 comments
  • tirell ferrer

    Everyone did an amazing job on their sculptures!

  • James Dolan

    Making these statuettes has inspired me. Wish i could do it again. My sculpture looked a bit weird, but it was a great project to do. It sure was great.

  • Carlos

    Good job guys!

  • krystal

    Wow! This is amazing. I love the way these turned out!

  • ricky


  • Matthew English

    I participated in this project and found the results very awe inspiring; watching me and my classmates take a mangled piece of tin foil turn into a golden statue. It was an awesome aspect of taking a history class and making it totally different.

  • james dobias

    Even though I wasn’t in the class it looks like it would of been a lot of fun. I think I would of enjoyed it, and had a good time.

  • Anthony Chase

    I loved making my llama “Ay Bandito” look so ancient and precious.

  • Elijah Spikes

    Looks cool. Wish I was in there making one.

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