New World, South America, Bolivia, Aymara (Aimara) people, ca. early to mid 20th century CE. A ceremonial blanket, woven from alpaca wool, probably from the Challhuahuacho District of Peru. The textile features a central composition comprised of bands containing abstract birds, flying insects, and stylized geometric motifs as well as striated borders in hues of garnet, salmon, melon, taupe, beige, gold, and orange, framed by two wide, chocolate brown bands followed by striated borders of colors that coordinate with the central design. Size: 46.25" L x 40" W (117.5 cm x 101.6 cm)
The Aymara are an indigenous group who live in Bolivia, Peru, and Chile, in the Altiplano, mostly in the high altitude valley around Lake Titicaca. They are famous for their many different styles and types of woven textiles, which they have made for thousands of years. After the arrival of the Spanish, Aymara woven textiles became a way for indigenous people to mark their identity - first, as a symbol of status for Mestizos who could not afford European textiles, and then as a way of showing rebellion to the Spanish after other forms of clothing were outlawed following native uprisings. Today they continue to make these beautiful textiles, which have gained worldwide acclaim.
Provenance: private Ventura County, California, USA collection
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