A.D. 300 - 500
Camelid, cotton fibers
Length 93 3/4 in. Width 66 7/8 in.
This large mantle is complete and thus gives an idea of the overall design concept and the color interrelationships employed at the time in ancient Peru. Quadrants are established in the large central field by a cross-form band of mustard yellow. The four rectangles formed, two in maroon and two in a muted cochineal red, are set in a diagonally balanced relationship. Along the longer side of the mantle a wider inner band has complex rectangular figural motifs. These wider bands alternate two motifs: a frontal head with an elaborate gold headdress and mouth mask and a less clear highly stylized figure with several overlaid frontal heads. Each of these components exhibits typical Nasca inventiveness in varied distributions of color. The total mantle design is completed by a narrow outside band of elaborated trophy head motifs. This smaller band repeats, with a similarly inventive set of color variations, a frontal head with an elaborate full face overhead mask. The condition is fair, with variable fading on the figural images, some still preserving vivid color. There are burial stains, especially on the central plain-weave panels. There is considerable loss of fabric in the mustard-colored cross-shaped band.
David Bernstein, New York
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