Pre-Columbian, Peru, Chancay culture, ca. 1300 to 1450 CE. A panel of woven cloth, made of cotton and camelid fibers, decorated with a repeated pattern of avian creatures shown in profile, pale pink on dark red, with a fringe of deep ochre. The red color is probably from cochineal, a bright red insect, while the yellow color would have come from a plant. The dry, cold climate of the Andes preserved these textiles. As time went on, their designs changed - from ca. 1300 CE onward, motifs began to emphasize zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures rather than geometric abstractions. The iconography of these textiles remains mysterious, but some scholars have advanced the theory that figures shown face on are gods/elites and figures shown in profile are their attendants. Size of textile (without backing): 13.8" W x 11.4" H (35.1 cm x 29 cm)
Provenance: private New York, USA collection
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