Papagayo macaw feathers knotted onto strings and stitched to cotton plain-weave cloth; camelid fiber plain-weave cloth upper tape
Overall: 81.3 x 223.5 cm (32 x 88 in.); Mounted: 94 x 236.2 cm (37 x 93 in.)
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 2002.93
Of all the luxury textile types made in the ancient Andes, feathered cloth was one of the most esteemed. This large panel, covered with plumes of the blue-and-yellow macaw, was found with ninety-five others identical to it in an offering buried on Peru's southern desert coast. The panels' original function is mysterious. Many have ties that dangle from each upper corner, giving rise to speculation that the panels served as hangings. Together they would have covered a 2,000-square-foot area, transforming it into a ceremonial space of breathtaking brilliance and spectacle. But the panels may also have been made solely as an offering, a lavish sacrifice of precious materials, time, and labor to supernatural forces.
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