About this artwork
Woven works of art created by diverse Andean societies represent one of the longest, most complex textile histories in the world. Of particular note are the textiles produced by the Wari, who—along with the closely related Tiwanaku—rose to prominence throughout the highlands of Peru and Bolivia from the 7th to the 9th century.
For this mantle, narrow strips were individuaally woven and then dyed using several separate multiple-stage binding and dye-bath immersions to produce different color combinations. The dyed strips were disassembled into small rectangles; these were then placed in order and sewn together, creating an overall red-and-blue checkerboard design accented with white, yellow, and red diamond-shaped motifs arranged in intersecting diagonal lines. The regularity of the repeated elements is offset by variation in pattern and color, resulting in a visual vibrancy characteristic of the finest Wari textiles.
During important political and religious events, aristocratic individuals wore finely made tunics, mantles, and related garments whose quality and designs communicated the person’s status, wealth, and role within the community. Sophisticated textiles were also used to wrap deceased ancestors during sacred burial rituals that prepared them for the afterlife.
Currently Off View
- 600 AD–800 AD
- Cotton and wool (camelid), single interlocking tapestry weave; neck and armholes finished in wool (camelid) in overcast stitches; seams joined with wool (camelid) in darning stitches
- 102.6 × 113 cm (40 3/8 × 44 1/2 in.)
- Restricted gift of Mrs. Edwin A. Seipp