Iscayo (woman’s mantle)
ca. 1850
47.5" x 36.5"
Textile, Alpaca wool with natural dyes
Region: Bolivia
Culture: Aymara Culture
The Aymara are known for their longstanding tradition of woven goods, and early remnants of Aymara woven objects date from as early as 1300BC. Their yarns have been traditionally made on a drop spindle from naturally dyed llama and cotton fibers. The weaves themselves can be made so tightly as to create waterproof garments, and yet they can be both dense and supple, exhibiting a fine drape.

Stripes are a very common design motif. Many historians believe that this pattern, while also a result of the warp-face weaving technique, also ties visually to the landscape that surrounds them. The wide bands of color within the garments are often referred to as “pampas” or “plains”, and are thought to tie directly to the topography of the region.

This medium size mantle consists of two pieces sewn together at center seam with warp-faced plain weave ground of alternating bands of brown, blue, and light beige.