c. 300 BC-AD 200
Plain weave with embroidery, plain weave with warp substitution; camelid fiber
Overall: 94 x 83.8 cm (37 x 33 in.); Mounted: 111.8 x 101.6 cm (44 x 40 in.)
The Norweb Collection 1946.227
Fine textiles were one of the most prestigious commodities in the ancient Andes.
The brightly dyed wool yarns found in many ancient Peruvian textiles come mainly from alpacas, camelids domesticated and selectively bred to produce long, soft, lustrous fiber. (Llamas are used mainly as pack animals, and slaughtered for meat). The Paracas people from the arid Peruvian coast probably obtained their wool from the highland region to the east, where camelids thrive. The versatility of Paracas textile-makers is demonstrated by the use of two distinct techniques to create the shirt's ornamentation. Around the neck and in the blue field the double-bird motifs are executed in embroidery, but the border strips are carried out in warp-faced plain weave, with multicolored warps substituted into place to create the pattern.
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