Pre-Columbian, South Coast Peru, proto Nazca culture, ca. 500 to 200 BCE. A delightful mantle fringe woven from camelid (alpaca, llama) fibers that resembles a muneca (Spanish for doll) fringe - only instead of human figures, this piece presents a row of stylized winged birds and pepper corn flowers in a colorful palette of blue, green, red, gold, brown, burgundy, and purple hues. Textiles like this would have been used to adorn a garment worn during ceremonial practices and ultimately funerary contexts. In the Pre-Columbian world, birds had a special symbolic value as the indigenous believed they were sky animals that also served as messengers between humanity and their deities. Mounted on a white cloth stretched over a wooden frame and set within a lucite case. Size: bird fringe measures 13.5" W (34.3 cm); 16.625" W x 5.5" H (42.2 cm x 14 cm) in lucite case
Provenance: ex private Southern California collection; acquired over 20 years ago
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