varayoc (Staff)

About this object

History of use

Varayoc staff, used by village leaders or officials (varayocs) as ceremonial symbols of leadership. Traditional staff of office used since Inca times.

Physical description

Staff made of a solid piece of rounded wood, tapering slightly toward the bottom. A silver grip crowns the top of the staff and is decorated with incised designs of plants, trees, and lines. Several narrow silver bands encircle the staff, some with incised linear decoration. A thick, braided silver wire criss-crosses down the length of the staff with a silver cross dangling at its end. The bottom of the stick is encased in a sheet of undecorated metal that narrows to a sharp tip.