Andean Papers – University of Copenhagen

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CTR > Conferences and Workshops > 2016 > Pre-Columbian Textiles > Andean Papers

Abstracts for Andean Papers

  1. Early Collecting of Andean Pre-Columbian textiles
  2. Documentation and technological analysis of Pre-columbian textiles from Castillo de Huarmey, Peru
  3. New research on the royal Inca tunic at Dumbarton Oaks
  4. Headdresses of the men and women of Wari Kayan
  5. Textiles and Social Hierachization in Tarapacá (Chile) during Late Intermediate Period (800-1300 AD)
  6. Sir Henry Wellcome’s pre-Columbian textiles. The curious case of a Chancay figurine clad in Wari cloth
  7. Andean Textile Traditions: Material Knowledge and Culture
  8. De fragmentos a prendas: reconstrucciones hipotéticas de bordados Paracas
  9. Late Prehistoric Textiles from a Mass Grave in the Mid-Chincha Valley, Peru
  10. An unusual Inca-type shirt with tokapu from Pachacamac
  11. Color, Structure, and Meaning in Middle Horizon Khipus
  12. Sechín Bajo – Archaeological Textiles from a North Coast Excavation
  13. Hallazgo de una ofrenda textil con material del Horizonte Tardío e Inca local en el valle medio de Pisco
  14. Tocados del Horizonte Medio al Intermedio Tardío en la costa central: Una visión desde el valle de Asia, Peru
  15. A New Textile Style from the North-Central Coast of Peru
  16. Textile Artefacts from Caleta Vitor, Quebrada Chaca, Northern Chile
  17. The divine image in old Peruvian textiles
  18. Trajes de poder. Los conjuntos Chimu con borlas
  19. Miniature cords
  20. Nasca-Textiles of South Peru, Los Molinos, Secor B. Analysis and Insights
  21. Structure, Design, and Gender in Inka Textiles


Early Collecting of Andean Pre-Columbian textiles


Beatrix Hoffmann, Berlin/Bonn

During the 19th century in Peru a lively community of collectors gathered pre-Columbian antiquities. They used the collections as a means for social recognition and personal amusement. These early collections contained principally ceramics and objects made of precious metal, wood or stone, while until the last third of the 19th century textiles were very seldom to find in them.
The interest in this kind of antiquities awoke only in the last decades of the century.
Among the first collectors, who gathered textiles in a larger quantity were Anton Reiss and Wilhelm Stübel, who realized an excavation at Ancón some 40 km north of Lima in 1874/75. But the probably largest collection of textiles gathered the German merchant Wilhelm Gretzer towards the end of the 19th century. Other collectors, as the Eduard Gaffron followed his example and started to integrate also textiles into their collections.
The paper examines the beginning of collecting ancient Peruvian textiles focussing on collectors like Gretzer, Stübel, Reiss, Kluge, Baessler and Gaffron.Til toppen

Documentation and technological analysis of Pre-columbian textiles from Castillo de Huarmey, Peru

Aleksandra Laszczka and Jeff Splitstose

The Castillo de Huarmey archaeological site on the Peruvian North Coast is one of the most important ceremonial centers of pre-Hispanic Middle Horizon period (AD 600-900). The first season of textile investigation was carried out in July of 2014 by American and Polish researchers. A preliminary fabric inventory was made, in which approximately 800 objects were examined, including textile and basketry fragments, yarns, and cordage. The general description of the collection, including ground and design structures, will be presented as well as the methods used to preserve and stabilize these important fabrics. The sample of excavated fabric types will be compared with fragments discovered on the surface at the Castillo de Huarmey site in previous years and analyzed by other scholars.Til toppen

New research on the royal Inca tunic at Dumbarton Oaks


Andrew James Hamilton, Princeton University

This paper would present new research on the royal Inca tunic at Dumbarton Oaks, one of the most famous artifacts of the ancient Americas. In a talk I originally wrote three years ago for the 50th Anniversary of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, and have given widely since, I argued that the tunic is unfinished and likely dates to the conquest. Examination of the lower border reveals that the zigzag embroidery, the finishing touch of garment construction, was never completed. Nonetheless, the tunic was worn in what appears to have been an unfinished state. I hypothesized that it was woven at the time of the conquest and would have been intended for Atahualpa, but after his execution was likely worn by those close to him during the colonial period.

The talk I would plan to give in Copenhagen would introduce the three years of more specialized research I have conducted since. It would present a much more in depth understanding of exactly how the weavers wove the tunic, would show how they laid out and enacted the tocapu designs, and discuss their use of colors. I am able to show, for instance, that the tunic was woven in the opposite direction from what is stated in published scholarship. It is possible to see, as well, the hands of the two different weavers, and the choices that they made in weaving the tocapus.
In fact, the compositions of a number of the tocapus transform over the course of weaving - revealing much about their natures and the status of the weavers. Finally, much can be detailed about how the weavers chose colors and why. A nascent sense of Inca color theory can be gleaned from the tunic. Based on clear material evidence in this and other Inca tunics, I will argue that a dye has entirely faded from the tunic (a dark blue that is now tan) and will conclude with a recoloration of what this most recognizable object, in fact, most likely looked like in its original condition.
This talk would, in rich detail, evidence the importance of close-looking at textiles - not just for textile specialists, but for all scholars of the ancient Andes - and suggest how minute technical knowledge can fundamentally influence our understandings of artifacts and, indeed, civilizations.

As this talk stems from my upcoming book project, I will be developing a version of this talk as a 45 minute presentation with very well-executed graphics so that I might use when I apply for jobs in the coming year. Therefore, I offer that if the conference organizers would like a keynote speech for the beginning or end of the conference, I would happily deliver this extended version of the talk. I could promise that it would meticulously respect the time limits and would be written both for specialists in the Andes, as well as a broader audience.Til toppen

Headdresses of the men and women of Wari Kayan
Sociocultural change and gender during the processes of Paracas Necrópolis cemetery creation

Ann H. Peters, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The importance of the headdress is indicated by its arrangmeent on the head of the recently deceased, its display on the apex of each mortuary bundle, and its  prominent depiction in contemporary imagery. Headdresses in woven, embroidered or painted imagery may be envisioned as cloth panels or intertwined serpents (Paul 1982, Frame 1986), analogous to the depiction of yarns, tongues, stems, hair, tails and flowing liquids. Their position and connotations suggest that they center discourse referring to fertility, vitality and social power.
Due to their position above the human body, headdresses are the most consistely preserved element even in smaller, more deteriorated mortuary bundles. Some headdress elements appear only with men, while others can be found with both men and women and some special headcloths are characteristic of female burials.  A diversity of hreaddress elements may be present in a single context, and the range of types present change over time.
Therefore, headdresses provide an interesting lens through which we can envision social identities in a dynamic process of interaction and transformation two thousand years ago in the south Central Andes.Til toppen

Textiles and Social Hierachization in Tarapacá (Chile) during Late Intermediate Period (800-1300 AD)


Carolina Agüero and Valentina Figueroa,
Instituto de  Arqueología y Antropología de la Universidad Católica del Norte, San Pedro de Atacama

Control of goods and the handling of ideology are central to the definition of ranges and the exercise of power in complex societies. The style of material culture is an important component of these strategies of manipulation. The elites have exclusive access to certain types of goods and the status of these is often reinforced through iconography.
Archaeological contexts with "special" goods associated with some types of clothes (or representations of this) made with a rare technique in South Central Andes - tie dye technique - dated between 1055 and 1258 AD, is located on the edge of territory occupied for Pica -Tarapacá society of Northern Chile (800-1300 d.C).

These "key" places correspond to Chacance (limit of Pica-Tarapacá complex with the Atacama territory), Quillagua (of importance to access resources of Loa river territory), Bajo Molle on the coast of Iquique (the prestigious site of the arreic coast, probably related to the exchange), Pachica (limit with high ravines), and of course the emblematic site, Pica-8, indicates a desire to make evident this demonstration. For Quillagua (a oasis of Loa river) this situation also extends to the descendence which has significant metal ornaments.
Differences in cultural material have been linked to competition and tend to increase as social tensions grow, in this regard we believe that these clothes and their contexts may be referring to transformations internal or external social connections (e.g., leadership and exchange), making evident the power of accumulation of certain individuals, demonstrating its hierarchy and thus separating them from the rest of the community.Til toppen


Sir Henry Wellcomes pre-Columbian textiles
The curious case of a Chancay figurine clad in Wari cloth


Dr Penelope Dransart, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

A wooden figurine in the National Museums Liverpool is alleged to be Chancay in style but it is dressed in tie-dyed cloth dated to the Wari period. It was acquired by Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936), who attempted to collect what he considered to be a representative series of ancient artefacts from different regions of the world.
In 1951, his textile collection was dispersed to various museums in Britain, including what was then called the City of Liverpool Public Museum.
The figurine seems to be anomalous – it was categorized as a textile, but it also combined carved wood and was dressed in textiles judged to belong to an earlier period than the figure itself.
This paper examines the dressed figurine in the light of other textiles collected by Wellcome as were available to him for purchase on the art market before 1936. It addresses the role of textiles from the central coast of Peru as a category of artefacts that attracted the attention of collectors, particularly with regard to images of the human form that these items conveyed.Til toppen


Andean Textile Traditions: Material Knowledge and Culture


Elena Phipps

The development of rich and complex Andean textile traditions spanned millennia, in concert with the development of cultures that utilized textiles as a primary form of expression and communication. Understanding the importance of textiles in the Andean world, we can examine elements of their genesis and look at the trajectory from the earliest developments of fiber-made items to the extraordinarily complex processes that constitute systems of knowledge based in the material and materiality of the media.
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De fragmentos a prendas: reconstrucciones hipotéticas de bordados Paracas


Isabel Iriarte, Buenos Aires

En muchas colecciones y museos del mundo los tejidos bordados de Paracas están representados por fragmentos desprovistos de su correspondiente contexto arqueológico ya que fueron obtenidos por huaqueo. A esa descontextualización inicial se suma la dispersión ocasionada por la venta a distintos destinatarios de partes de una misma prenda.
Aún cuando muchos de estos fragmentos  logran llamar la atención por su perfección técnica y su iconografía, en pocos casos llegan dar una idea de la complejidad de las piezas de las que formaron parte originalmente.
El punto de partida de este trabajo ha sido la colección de fragmentos bordados Paracas del Museo Etnográfico “Juan B. Ambrosetti” de Buenos Aires. El foco se ha puesto en la recuperación de la información potencial en esos fragmentos aislados mediante la confrontación de los mismos con otros en distintas colecciones que hayan pertenecido a la misma pieza o al mismo conjunto de prendas. Hasta el momento se han logrado encontrar ejemplos emparentados con ellos en veintinueve colecciones de todo el mundo.
De esa confrontación han surgido datos referidos a formatos, esquemas de color y simetría, conjuntos de prendas y, en algunos casos, coincidencias con tejidos contenidos en fardos excavados por Julio Tello. Como muestra de los resultados obtenidos se expondrán en esta ocasión algunos ejemplos.
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Late Prehistoric Textiles from a Mass Grave in the Mid-Chincha Valley, Peru


Jacob Bongers, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, and Colleen O’Shea, SUNY Buffalo

As attire for both the living and the dead, textiles can be used to interpret information relating to sociopolitical relationships. In the ancient Andes, textiles were primary indicators of group identity, conveying affiliations to provinces, nations, and ethnic groups. This paper examines textiles recovered from a late prehistoric mass grave, which dates to the Late Horizon (AD 1476-1532), in the mid-Chincha Valley, Peru. Fieldwork performed in the mid-Chincha Valley found a high density of mass graves bearing resemblance to chullpas, semi-subterranean and above-ground tombs constructed throughout the Andes. Our recent analysis of human remains and grave goods from one such mass grave found over 400 textiles.
In this paper, we present our analysis of 141 textiles from this mass grave to better understand the textile tradition in the mid-Chincha Valley. Our sample includes textiles with and without dyes and patterning, mostly comprised of tunics, mantas, and loincloths. For each textile, we recorded several attributes, including but not limited to fiber type, spin/ply direction, object type, and weave structure. In our presentation, we demonstrate patterns of these attributes and compare our data to previous research on textiles recovered from the lower Chincha Valley.
We find that most textiles are made of cotton woven with paired warps, while some rare samples include camelid fibers dyed red or brown. Results from a comparison between lower and mid-Chincha Valley textiles reveal similarities in weaving techniques. Our findings reveal insights into textile production and its ties to funerary practice, the construction of group identity, and the nature of Chincha-Inca relations during late prehistoric times in this key coastal valley.Til toppen

An unusual Inca-type shirt with tokapu from Pachacamac


Dr. Jane Feltham, Independent Investigator

This paper discusses an unusual Inca-type shirt with tokapu from Pachacamac. It was excavated in 2014 by personnel of the Ychsma project, while they were working on an unusual building inside the outer precinct which houses the pyramids with ramps. Not only are the tokapu symbols different from the customary ones, but the method of construction, using discontinuous warps, is also striking.  It is likely that this is a Colonial shirt, since Colonial artefacts were found in the same layer.Til toppen

Color, Structure, and Meaning in Middle Horizon Khipus


Jeffrey C. Splitstoser

Inka khipus used cord color, knots, cord attachment, final twist, and sometimes material (e.g., colored camelid hair) to encode information. Middle Horizon (Wari) khipus used all these conventions and more. For instance, the thick, white, cotton pendant cords of MH khipus were routinely wrapped with brightly colored (usually camelid hair) yarns that most likely conveyed meaning. The thickness and structure of pendant-cords themselves likely held significance. Further, while Wari khipu makers tied knots in pendant cords, they sometimes also wrapped these knots with multicolored camelid hair yarns. These practices and others make Middle Horizon khipus far more complex than their Inka counterparts.

Based on a detailed study of four Middle Horizon khipu in the collections of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and two khipu that were recently excavated by Milosz Giersz from the site of El Castillo de Huarmey, this talk will discuss how MH khipus differ from Inka khipus, and it will present patterns found in their color, structure, cord attachment, and twist. The talk will consider the way these patterns and attributes might have been used to encode information.Til toppen


Sechín Bajo – Archaeological Textiles from a North Coast Excavation


Katalin Nagy

In spring 2014 I took part in an archaeological project done by a German-Peruvian team of archeologists in the Sechín Valley, next to the Valley of Casma, on the North Coast of Peru. The project started more than ten years ago and has been taking place parallel to some other important archaeological projects on the North Coast. The aim of the project was to unearth the temple mounds and to reconstruct the parts of the various phases. The earliest layers date back to the Preceramic Period. During the wall construction of the temple, various textile fabrics such as nets and ropes were used. And some very early textile fabrics were found. The site was abandoned after thousands of years and a cemetery was placed on top of it.
The cemetery comes from a later time period and contains tombs from different phases of cultures of the north Coast i.e. Moche and Chimú. My task was to examine these archeological textiles. The aim is to classify the textile objects and create a very first source of data. In my paper I will present the textiles of the excavation and some particular and typical items. The textile artifacts were excavated in a small but very concrete area and the fabrics reflect a very long period of time.Til toppen


Hallazgo de una ofrenda textil con material del Horizonte Tardío e Inca local en el valle medio de Pisco


Luis Peña Callirgos, Arqueólogo, Investigador-Conservador, Perú

En el año 2003 durante los trabajos de rescate realizados en el sitio Arqueológico  Alto Huauyanga 3, ubicado en el valle medio de Pisco se halló una ofrenda de textiles asociadas a estructuras arquitectónicas como muros y plataformas.
Este hallazgo consistió en un costal mediano de tela llana de algodón hallado en perfecto estado de conservación el que a su vez contenía otros costalillos de tamaño menor donde habían un unku de plumas en proceso, un unku en tapiz, tejidos listados, Bolsa o chuspa en proceso de elaboración, tiras de plumas envueltas para ser utilizadas, ovillos de hilos de fibra de algodón y de camélido, entre otras cosas.
La mayoría del material se encuentra en muy buen estado de conservación debido a las características del terreno y el clima seco de la zona, lo interesante de esta muestra es la variabilidad de tejidos y que muchos de ellos estaban en proceso de elaboración como el unku de plumas y la chuspa, además de mostrar cómo se transportaban las tiras de plumas antes de ser colocadas en un tejido.
Se pudo fechar el material claramente a la presencia de una bolsa o chuspa de estilo Inca local, lo que nos indicaría que todo este material es del Horizonte Tardío.
Además no contamos con mucha información de este tipo de hallazgos textiles tanto del valle medio de Pisco como el resto del área de influencia Inca para este periodo.Til toppen


Tocados del Horizonte Medio al Intermedio Tardío en la costa central: Una visión desde el valle de Asia, Peru


Rommell Angeles Falcón, Arqueólogo, Museo de Pachacamac, Ministerio de Cultura, Perú

Los tocados juegan un rol significativo en la identificación del poder en los Andes Centrales, ellos identifican prestigio y poder de quien lo utiliza así como su identidad cultural y género. Las excavaciones arqueológicas en Huaca Malena, valle de Asia a 100 kilómetros al sur de Lima nos han permitido recuperar contextos funerarios primarios y secundarios que incluye una extraordinaria colección de tocados y penachos de plumas que datan del periodo Horizonte Medio al Intermedio Tardío (800-1200 d.C. aproximadamente). Estos tocados varían según el status del individuo, género e incluso muestra evidencias de relaciones interregionales tanto en su elaboración como en las materias primas utilizadas. La variedad de técnicas y tipos de tocados nos hablan de los cambios que se produjeron  entre ambos periodos.
Para el Horizonte Medio, aparecen bandas con apéndice elaborados en tapiz excéntrico, coronas de cestería asociadas a penachos de plumas, pelucas y vinchas Wari mientras que para los inicios del Intermedio Tardío luego de la caída de Wari,  aparecen tocados de red,  cintas de tapiz así como vinchas femeninas, masculinas y gorros con borlas. Entre ambos periodos las técnicas y diseños varían reflejando el nivel de sus relaciones locales y regionales y una extraordinaria muestra de tocados que se relacionan con Wari, Pachacamac y Ancón.Til toppen

A New Textile Style from the North-Central Coast of Peru


Ann P. Rowe, Textile Museum, Washington D.C.

The Dallas Museum of Art has a group of tapestry tunic fragments that serve to define a previously unknown textile style, with technical features suggesting northern provenience but with non-Chimu designs.  Some of the designs relate instead to certain tunics found in the Chancay style area during the Late Horizon, so presumably the style originates not far north of Huaura.  A few whole examples can also be identified in other collections.Til toppen

Textile Artefacts from Caleta Vitor, Quebrada Chaca, Northern Chile


Tracy Martens, PhD Candidate, Australian National University
 
In 2008, a joint team of archaeologists from the Australian National University (ANU) and the Calogero Santoro of Universidad de Tarapacá de Arica (UTA) discovered a large number of mummies during excavations of the site of Caleta Vitor, at the coastal mouth of the Quebrada Chaca in northern Chile. The site was occupied from 10,000 BP through to the Spanish invasion and came to world attention when it was featured on ABC Catalyst (ABC iView, 2009). The human bones from the site have been analyzed using stable isotopes (Roberts et al., 2013) and the textile artefacts from the site are the focus of this investigation. The dry desert conditions have preserved the clothing worn by the mummies, resulting in an impressive collection of textile artefacts spanning many thousands of years.  This report details my initial investigation and findings from a survey of the collection conducted February-April 2016.Til toppen


The divine image in old Peruvian textiles


Uwe Carlson

A large part of the ancient Peruvian textiles shows images of the gods in many variations. These are supplemented by the religious symbolism of fertility, which is presented in three different alterations and many variations. Some cultures also used emblematic images of the gods. On the coast the sea bird had an almost divine status, which is expressed in many textiles. Textiles of the cultures of the North and the South availed themselves of the content of forms of Chavín, but they found their own variations. Murals, reliefs, jewelry and other objects is containing the same information as the textiles. The society of ancient Peru was more than two and a half millennia religiously influenced by this symbolism. The priests created with the divine image and its symbolism requirements for agricultural engineering practices in this highly complex environment. This successful livelihood was the origin of the development of the high ranking Peruvian civilizations.Til toppen


Trajes de poder. Los conjuntos Chimu con borlas


Victòria Solanilla Demestre, Grup d’Estudis Precolombins. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

Después de conocer y estudiar el traje completo de un dirigente Chimú, conservado en el Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, que consta de un taparrabos, una camisa y un tocado en forma de turbante con una larga faja a cada lado, he podido conocer dos ejemplares más en dos museos europeos, de la misma cultura y parecidos entre si.
Se trata de: traje completo (3 piezas) conservado en el Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum de Colonia (Alemania) y una camisa conservada en Barcelona, que forma parte de la colección americana del Museo de las Culturas del Mundo.
Partiendo del estudio del primer conjunto del MCHAP de Santiago de Chile (P. Brugnoli, S.Hoces de la Guardia, P. Jelvez y T. Gómez, 1977), se realizará el estudio de los dos nuevos conjuntos de Colonia y de Barcelona.  Y de esta manera se intentará conocer el contenido del famoso “Bird Lot” que provenía de una excavación en la Costa Norte del Perú del año 1956, que no fue documentada de manera apropiada y que además se ofreció en una subasta de arte en EEUU inmediatamente después. Hecho que hace pensar que la mayoría de piezas de este “Bird Lot” están en manos de museos y colecciones privadas.
El conjunto de Colonia  fue un préstamo de la Sra. Carmen Oechsle para la exposición de “Los tesoros de Perú” que se llevó a cabo en Colonia en 1959.
Y la pieza de Barcelona (camisa) es propiedad de la Sra. Stella Folch. Forma parte de la interesante colección del Sr. Alberto Folch, que su hija ha cedido al Ayuntamiento de Barcelona durante 50 años.
Con el estudio detallado de estos dos conjuntos, centrándonos principalmente en su iconografía, se comprobará la importancia de estos trajes, lo que querían representar y cómo estaban hechos.  Y se intentará al mismo tiempo, seguir la pista de este “Bird Lot” citado más arriba y de ver qué camino siguieron las piezas que lo formaban.
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Miniature Cords


Colin McEwan, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC

The best preserved Inca capac hucha burials are accompanied by dressed figurines with costume elements that include miniature uncus (tunics), tupus (cloak pins) and woven cords. Some tupu cords recovered from archaeological contexts have either metal tupus or spondylus shell toggles still attached. This presentation introduces and describes these miniature cords and analyses two examples - one from the British Museum collections which incorporates 13 paired designs and one from the Princeton University Collection with 7 pairs.Til toppen


Nasca-Textiles of South Peru, Los Molinos, Secor B. Analysis and Insights


Dr. Daniela Biermann

Beside the administrative center of Los Molinos the archeologist of the PALPA-project – under the direction of Dr. Markus Reindel (KAAK Bonn) and Johny Isla Cuadrado (Institudo Andino de Estudios Arqueológicos, Lima) – found textile fragments in compact (undisturbed) strata of the Early and Middle Nasca times.

The archaeological data indicates this sector as a place for ritual ceremonies. Accurate analysis together with the fine archaeological data offer an overview of the nature and quality in the wide spectrum of material and textile techniques. May these findings give up to provide an insight to the society of the Nasca?Til toppen


Structure, Design, and Gender in Inka Textiles


Blenda Femenías, Catholic University of America

This paper focuses on Inka textiles that were apparently made for or used by females in pre-Columbian times. In particular, I address relationships among tapestry-woven objects (especially those featuring tukapu, rectangular design blocks) and those created using warp-patterned structures, centering on garments  and personal accessories.
While there are fewer extant full-size garments associated with females than with males, the availability of a large number of miniature female-associated garments both facilitates and complicates gendered comparisons.
Along with woven structures, I address the gendered associations of design and color, inquiring whether particular colors correlate with woven patterning and gendered identification. Til toppen