Discontinuous Warp and Weft Fragment with Zigzag Stepped DesignProbably Late Intermediate Period
Probably ca. 1000 - ca. 1476
19 11/16 x 12 13/16 x 1/16 in. (50 x 32.5 x 0.2 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2000.3.167
Geography: South America, Peru, Andes
Classification: Unclassifiable Artifacts; Artifact Remnants; Cloth Fragments
Collection: Ward M. Canaday Collection
Dye analysis is an important element of research on a textile; it can reveal methods of construction that are unexpected and otherwise invisible to the naked eye. In the multi-band images of this fragment, there is an inconsistency visible in the lower lefthand corner. This unexpected presence of indigo indicates a change in the threads not based on the pattern of the textile. The difference between these threads and those of the rest of the color section is clear in magnified images. This could be the result of a different dye batch, and could possibly help in confirming its relationship to other similar textiles if they are ever to be located.
This object has the following keywords:
camelid hair*, checker pattern*, chevrons*, geometric patterns, geometric shape*, indigo*, Late Intermediate Period*, Peruvian*, red*, repetition*, selvage*, South American*, square*, textiles*, warp*, weft*, yellow*, zigzags*
- camelid hair - Material made from the hair of camelids, especially South American camelids such as llama and alpaca. For fiber made from camels, use "camel hair."
- checker pattern - A bold geometric pattern of regularly placed alternating squares or lozenges of contrasting colors or textures.
- chevrons - Simple geometric forms composed of Vs used singly, in a vertical series, or in a string to form a zigzag.
- geometric patterns
- geometric shape - Shape characterized by regular shapes or patterns that are determined, constructed, or formed according to geometry.
- indigo - A natural dark blue colorant obtained from the tropical Indigofera tinctoria plants. The use of indigo was first mentioned in Indian manuscripts in the 4th century BCE; it was first exported to Europe in Roman times. The natural material is collected as a precipitate from a fermented solution of the plant, where the coloring component, indigotin, is extracted as a colorless glycoside that turns blue with oxidation. Indigo is a fine, intense powder which may be used directly as a pigment in oil, tempera, or watercolor media. Since the exposed pigment can fade rapidly in strong sunlight, it is rarely used in art or fine textiles today. However, it is still used to dye jeans, where its fading and uneven coloring have become favorable characteristics.
- Late Intermediate Period - The sixth of the seven main chronological phases recognized in Andean archaeology, generally dating ca. 1000-1450 CE, following the collapse of Middle Horizon empires, including Tiahuanaco and Huari. During this time distinctive regional cultures emerged along the coast and in highland areas, including the Chimú empire. The political entities that developed during the late Intermediate Period were subsequently conquered by the Inca empire.
- Peruvian - Of or belonging to the nation of Peru or its people.
- red - Hue name for one of the three primary additive colors; that portion of the spectrum lying at the lowest frequencies of light discernible by the human eye, with a wavelength range between 630 and 760 nanometers. The term may refer to any of this group of colors that vary in lightness and saturation. Examples of red color in nature are that of blood and ripe cherries.
- repetition - As an artistic concept, the characteristic within a composition where a form, line, color, or other compositional element is repeated to cause unity or for another purpose.
- selvage - The longitudinal edge of a piece of textile closed by weft loops, often distinguished by warp ends differing from those in the body of the textile and sometimes by a change in the binding.
- South American - Refers to the cultures of the continent of South America, which is bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, Central America, and the Antarctic region.
- square - Having the form or outline of a square, a four-sided plane figure with four equal sides and four right angles.
- textiles - General term for carpets, fabrics, costume, or other works made of textile materials, which are natural or synthetic fibers created by weaving, felting, knotting, twining, or otherwise processing. For works of art or high craft that employ textile as a medium, prefer "textile art (visual works)."
- warp - In weaving, the threads that are extended lengthwise in the loom, usually twisted harder than the "weft," with which these threads are crossed to form the web or piece.
- weft - The aggregate of transverse strands of a textile, woven through the warp. Specifically for individual strands of weft, prefer "picks (weft)."
- yellow - Hue name for one of the three primary subtractive colors. Represents that portion of the spectrum lying between green and orange, with a wavelength range between 565 and 590 nanometers. The term may refer to any of this group of colors that vary in lightness and saturation. Examples of yellow color in nature are that of a ripe lemon and the yolk of an egg.
- zigzags - Lines or bands composed of a series of chevrons.
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
- Clothed in Meaning: Archaeological Textiles from the Ancient Andes Bryn Mawr College , Mar 1, 2002 – Mar 29, 2002
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
- "Penn Museum Online Collections." Penn Museum Online Collections. (Accessed April 4, 2020): Penn Museum, https://www.penn.museum/collections/index.php. Accession No.: 30216.
- "Penn Museum Online Collections." Penn Museum Online Collections. (Accessed April 4, 2020): Penn Museum, https://www.penn.museum/collections/index.php. Accession No.: 30214.
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
- Elena Phipps, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth (Los Angeles, CA: The Fowler Museum at UCLA, 2013), 58-63.
- Elena Phipps and Ann Peters. Pre-Columbian Textile Conference VII (Lincoln, NE: Zea Books, 2017), 171-173.
- William J. Conklin, "Structure as Meaning in Andean Textiles." Chungara: Revista de Antropología Chilena 29, no. 1 (1997): 109-131.
- Penelope Dransart, Textiles, Technical Practice and Power in the Andes (London, England: Archetype Publications, 2013), 220-222.
This object is a member of the following portfolios:
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