Pre-Columbian, Bolivia, Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) culture, ca. 600 to 900 CE. A lovely textile sash fragment comprised of tightly-woven camelid (alpaca or llama wool) fibers in vivid hues of crimson, wheat, cream, olive-green, and midnight-blue. Against the red ground are several abstract jaguar masks with diamond-shaped mouths, spiraling eyes, and three-pronged crowns. Two of the masks meet at their mouths and mirror each other, and three of the masks have similarly-colored crowns. The peripheries are reinforced with red thread. A vivid and attractive example of ancient Bolivian textile artistry! Mounted against black, museum-quality fabric. Size (textile): 3.5" W x 20.625" H (8.9 cm x 52.4 cm); size (fabric): 29" W x 39.5" H (73.7 cm x 100.3 cm).
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private Hans Juergen Westermann collection, Germany
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This is a fragment of a larger textile sash. Restoration to area of one white mask using brown thread. Light fraying to some interior and peripheral threads, with light staining. Original coloration and iconography are still visible and clear.