Indigenous American Textiles

Ancient indigenous civilizations from America are represented in the FAR collection by a group of 33 textile artefacts from Peru, belonging to the Nazca, Huari, Chimù, Ica Chinca, Chancay and Inca cultures. The fragments are examples of canvas weave and tapestry technique, made primarily of cotton (warp) and camel wool (weft). The dating ranges from 200 AD to 1532, when the Inca empire ended.

These finds record the material culture of indigenous Americans and provide tangible evidence of their unique aesthetic and spatial canons. The decorative elements are arranged very differently from Western compositional patterns; for example, if you rotate the fabric, the stylised image of a sea bird transforms into the depiction of a manta ray.