The Significance of “Red” Within the Pre-Columbian Funerary Rituals

Ernesto Carlos Pujazon Patron, Mumtaz Mokhtar, Mohd Fuad Md Arif, José Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Religion-faith, art and science has dominated much of human existence since the early days of Homo Sapiens-Sapiens walking the earth. The intent of this two-part paper is to provide a wider understanding of the evolution of the colour ‘Red’ from its early beginnings, it also analyses the diverse characteristics of insects and plants-based colour of different Red’s such a cochineal, Vermillion-Cinnabar, Chinese red, red lead-minium and the relationship with pre-Columbian Peruvian funerary rituals. The first part touches on the historical aspect, its discovery, fabrication, commercialization of the colour ‘Red’. Even though blue or black may be the favourite colour in today’s Western accounts, ‘Red’ has always placed special meaning in our everyday life events, from Greco-Roman antiquity through to the Middle Ages, it has remained the most remarkably strong colour, full of richness in poetics and symbolic possibilities. The second part of this paper, focuses on providing evidence of the practise of the usages of the colour ‘red’ in the textiles of pre-Columbian Peruvian funerary rituals of the Andean civilizations such as Moche, Chimu, Nasca, Paracas, and subsequently the Incas as a means of symbolic connection with the afterlife. Finally, this paper concludes with a brief examination that the color “Red” acquires a dimension with a meaning which is based on the cultural context of the ‘Taki Onkoy’ or ‘Mal de Canto’ expression, historical and its psychological effects. It is a journey that captivates the fantasies of every generation across different continents.
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)15-42
Number of pages28
JournalAsian Journal of Behavioural Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

Cite this