700 - 400 BC
Camelid fiber; double-cloth with structural embroidery
Overall: 101.3 x 22.8 cm (39 7/8 x 9 in.)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 2005.13
These two textile fragments, both made by weavers of the Paracas culture, are important in several respects. They are among the earliest surviving textiles from Peru and document precocious experiments in double-cloth that, among other things, allows the creation of areas of pure, undiluted color. They also record an early devotion to abstraction and to feline imagery: both feature highly geometricized wild cats, animals that seem to have held special status in Paracas society. Finally, these fragments may demonstrate a fascination with the structure of cloth itself: the interlace motifs may be images of yarns twisted in either the S (\) or the Z (/) direction. Both fragments belonged to larger textiles of an unknown type and function.
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