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Mantle

Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Camelid fiber
  • Place Found: South Coast, Peru
  • DATES 0-100 C.E.
    PERIOD Early Intermediate Period 1
    DIMENSIONS 108 11/16 x 50 13/16 in. (276.1 x 129.1 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 34.1553
    CREDIT LINE Alfred W. Jenkins Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Nasca. Mantle, 0-100 C.E. Camelid fiber, 108 11/16 x 50 13/16 in. (276.1 x 129.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred W. Jenkins Fund, 34.1553
    IMAGE overall, 34.1553.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Size: adult; probable wearer: male. Plain weave with horizontal camelid fiber warp, camelid fiber weft and camelid fiber embroidery. The imagery consists of embroidered condors on the dark blue field and along the borders. The birds are rendered in colors of green-blue, dark blue and orange. Portions of the borders have fringes at their outer edge. From Mary Frame's notes: The fleshy carbuncle above the beak and the long flight feathers are distinctive features of condors. Other dominant traits are the outspread flying-wings depicted as if seen from below; the condors are shown as if swiveled to the side with the beak in profile. The border figures are unusual in being oriented transversely; they alternate up and down rather than left and right. This orientation is almost exclusively used for condors or humans with condor attributes (Boston Museum of Fine Art 16.342 and matching ponchito); very rarely for falcons (MfV Berlin 63321); and almost never for other figures. In the field, horizontal rows alternate laterally by pairs of rows rather than single rows, uncommon but not unique. The background of the border, with the subtle chevron pattern created by changing the diagonal S- and Z-slant of the stitching, is unusual. Other examples of Paracas textiles with condor figures oriented transversely show an elaborately attired human figure with condor wings outspread; the figure likely representing a mythic transformation to condor. This mantle stands out for its impeccable workmanship and completeness. Comparative examples with condors in this orientation are patterned in only one-half of the field.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (82%)
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    Mantle