Dec 9, 2009

Mantle Border Fragment with Oculate Being

Mantle Border Fragment with Oculate Being

200 BCE–200 CE

Camelid fiber, embroidery over foundation cloth

Overall: 116.2 x 16.5 cm (45 3/4 x 6 1/2 in.); Mounted: 127 x 25.4 cm (50 x 10 in.)

Gift of The Textile Art Alliance 1985.193



This border fragment features a supernatural being apparently at the center of a religion that swept the south coast during the final stages of the Paracas culture. Known as the Oculate Being after its huge eyes, it is affiliated with fertility and violence—note the darts it holds in one hand. Both large and small versions of the being are embroidered on the fragment, which likely comes from the border of a large, rectangular, shawl-like garment known as a mantle.

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