Griffin Gallery Antiquities

Proto Nazca Textile Mantle Fringe, Peru


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Americas: Pre Columbian: Handiwork: Pre 1492: Item # 1189030

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Two separate, framed Proto Nazca burial, funerary mantle fringe, framed and mounted in shadow box with multi-colored and multi-figured textile, Peru, circa 400 - 100 B.C.E. Stylized Muneca heads with faces in deep red, blue, and ocher. Framed and in excellent condition. The Nazca are known for their technically complex textiles. The textiles were most likely woven by women at habitation sites from spun cotton and wool. The textiles would have been made using a backstrap loom. This is similar to the way textiles are made in the region today. Textiles were woven with the common motifs earlier than they appeared painted on pottery. The dry desert has preserved the textiles of both the Nazca and Paracas cultures, which comprise most of what is known about early textiles in the region. Shawls, dresses, tunics, belts, and bags have been found through excavations at Cahuachi and elsewhere. Many textiles associated with the Nazca culture are garments that were included with grave goods found at burial sites. Almost every body found is wrapped (sometimes partially) in a textile as a part of burial ritual. These textiles are found with partial burials as well. Often piles of bones are found wrapped in a textile garment. The deposits of dresses and shawls contained both high-status garments (with feathers, painting, embroidery) and plain garments, suggesting different social roles or responsibilities. Mary Frame's extensive analysis of textiles from Cahuachi has revealed more about Nazca women. She noted that although the women are rarely recognized in the archaeological record, they had ready access to high-status materials and the right to wear potent imagery on their garments which gave an indication of their status. A large portion of dresses were found portraying birds with speckled bodies, double-headed serpentine figures, and anthropomorphic figures.