Pre-Columbian, central/south coast Peru, Lurin Valley, Pachacamac culture, ca. 1000 to 1500 CE. An intriguing example of a densely decorated textile panel formed from tightly woven camelid (alpaca or llama wool) fibers in hues of crimson, cream, marigold, periwinkle, sage, and jet. The body of the textile features several registers of abstract zoomorphic creatures and geometric motifs that show (from top to bottom) enclosed triangles, abstract frogs, ambiguous animals, turtle shells, abstract insects, enclosed serpents, abstract octopi, bicephalic serpents, mirrored waveform motifs, and additional enclosed abstract forms. Dotting the entire textile are petite dashes of yellow, black, green, blue, or black hues, and the bottom of the body displays a vertically oriented, red-and-white panel. Mounted on a museum-quality display fabric. Size (textile): 16" W x 31" H (40.6 cm x 78.7 cm); (display fabric): 31.25" W x 47.25" H (79.4 cm x 120 cm)
Pachacamac is located on the Peruvian coast approximately 32 kilometers south of Lima. It was a sacred site, as well as an oracle, and place of burial, that pilgrims from numerous ancient Andean cultures visited, including the Incas. Active for more than 2,000 years, this site was named after the god Pacha Kamaq who was worshipped as the "Maker of the Earth" by these coastal peoples and was also associated with powerful earthquakes. According to indigenous mythology, Pachacamac had defeated Con, the rival creator god who as a form of punishment for humankind's evilness had stopped all rainfall. Pachacamac resorted to transforming humanity into animals and subsequently created an entirely new race of men and women. Some versions of the myth tell of the god sending four stars to earth. Two of the stars were male and became kings and nobility. The other two stars were female and became common folk.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private Hans Juergen Westermann collection, Germany, collected in the 1950s to 1960s
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Repairs to a few small areas on body using modern thread. Minor fraying and loosening to some interior threads, with staining and fading to areas of original pigmentation, and minor creasing. Iconography and original pigments are still visible.