Painted poncho 1935.32.0205

p>This textile is both painted and embroidered, which is unusual for Paracas textiles. There are embroidered figures round the edges and in each corner, but the middle part and fringes are painted. The textile may have been a poncho with front and back fringes, but most Paracas ponchos do not have borders all the way round like this one.

Motif description

The figure, which is embroidered on the border, is anthropomorphic and appears to be wearing a tunic, skirt, anklets and hair pendants. A headpiece, feather headdress and two feline ears are visible on its head. Something resembling fish or sharps dangles from its head and belt. The figure is holding a trophy head. All figures have their heads in the same direction but each other one is inverted.

There are smaller motifs embroidered in the corners, consisting of figures with shark-like bodies, human arms, human faces with headpieces and hair pendants.

The middle part is hard to interpret because large parts of it are missing. Four large anthropomorphic figures are distinguishable, one in each corner. They are clad in tunic, loincloth and leggings and have face masks. Several smaller figures are also visible, and one of these is holding a trophy head and a knife. There are also many long, twisted painted bands.

The fringes are painted like snakes but also present other motifs – beans, other plants, headpieces and geometric patterns.

Material and technique

Painting on plain-woven cotton fabric. The embroidery is in stem-stitch in colour-field style. The poncho is made up of nine woven pieces sewn together, two of them for the woven fringes.

Dating and origin

Paracas Necropolis, Intermedio Temprano 2-3 (c. 100 AD – 300 AD)


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Size 220x92 cm
Item number 1935.32.0205
Tags , , , ,
Category Poncho