Cloth was of primary importance in ancient Peru, As a form of wealth, it was traded and given as gifts between rulers, and even burned or sacrificed as offerings. It was placed in burials in great quantity and was well preserved in the arid desert climate. Woven garments expressed the status and occupation of an individual through style, fabric, and workmanship.
The Peterson Collection of Ancient Peruvian Textiles consists of 26 textiles and textile fragments collected by Harold F. Peterson in the early 1940s. Most of the textiles were probably made in the Central Coast, but the exact provenmiences remain unknown. Many of the subjects refer to religious ideas and symbols and to social status. It has been noted that motifs such as snales, birds, marine creatures, and felines, were already evident in Peru as early as 1800 B.C. at the archaeological site of Huaca Prieta. Images of composite creatures and human/animal combinations are also represented. The collection displays a variety of weaving techniques known in Peru, especially plain weave, slit tapestry, and embroidery.
Ferdinand Anton, 1984, Ancient Peruvian Textiles. Thames and Hudson.
Rebecca Stone-Miller, 1992, To Weave for the Sun: Ancient Andean Textiles in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Thames and Hudson.
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