c. 300 BC-AD 200
Plain weave with embroidery; camelid fiber
Average: 160 x 297.2 cm (63 x 117 in.)
The Norweb Collection 1946.226
Gallery 232- Andean Textile Rotation
The profusion and decoration of textiles in Paracas burials shows the value placed on cloth.
Buried in shaft-tombs or rectangular sunken chambers, the Paracas dead were wrapped in layers of cloth and were accompanied by pottery, food, and other offerings. The dry environment of the Paracas Peninsula has preserved many of these goods, including the richly ornamented garments buried with important individuals. This mantle, probably worn like a cloak, was part of a set of matching garments that also includes a shirt and a long headband. To create this garment, three strips of blue cloth were stitched together side by side. The double-bird motifs of both the field and the borders were embroidered in vivid red, blue, yellow and green yarns. The linear form of the embroidery and the nesting of the motifs are typical of what is called the Paracas Cavernas Style. The double-bird motifs probably had symbolic importance, perhaps signifying the owner's clan.
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