Luxury, Labor and Meaning

In pre-Columbian societies textiles were not only items of great beauty and luxury representing many months, sometimes years of arduous labor, they also held sacred information encoded through specific colors, patterns and imagery. They were owned by the ruling class; individuals who were venerated as keepers of deep spiritual meaning and power.

Today, though much of their symbolism is unintelligible, the sense that the weavings hold significant information is palpable. Over a millennia later, they still feel important.

The recent acquisitions below survived in remarkable condition and show stunning workmanship, but they also seem to hold something more; a message.

proto-nasca fringed headcloth peru                   nasca embroidery mantle