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Mantle

A work made of wool (camelid), plain weave; embroidered in stem stitches; corners edged with weft-faced plain weave with extended ground weft fringe and embroidered in cross-knit loop stitches.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wool (camelid), plain weave; embroidered in stem stitches; corners edged with weft-faced plain weave with extended ground weft fringe and embroidered in cross-knit loop stitches.

Date:

100 B.C./A.D. 200

Artist:

Paracas
South coast, Peru

About this artwork

This expansive mantle, designed to be wrapped around the shoulders, features over 50 figures in brightly colored embroidery, a form of embellishment composed of needle-worked stitches. With their heads bent to the side, each figure wears a headdress, ear ornaments, and a tunic with a decorated border, and carries a feline under one arm. The pronounced stripes on the animal’s legs identify it as the pampas cat, a predator known to protect crops. Scroll-like motifs that emerge from the figures’ mouths and upraised hands may mimic the protruding tongues of the cats and signal an effort to embody the supernatural forces that govern the natural world.

The Paracas employed a number of textile embellishment techniques, and their embroidery work remains particularly impressive to modern eyes. Although all of the embroidery is done in a single stitch, the medley of colors demonstrates that the Paracas possessed a rigorous understanding of dyeing.

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Textiles

Culture

Paracas

Title

Mantle

Origin

Peru

Date

Made 100 BCE–200 CE

Medium

Wool (camelid), plain weave; embroidered in stem stitches; corners edged with weft-faced plain weave with extended ground weft fringe and embroidered in cross-knit loop stitches

Dimensions

238.1 × 106.7 cm (93 3/4 × 42 in.)

Credit Line

Emily Crane Chadbourne Fund

Reference Number

1970.293

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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