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PARACAS TEXTILES

Funeral Shrouds

Already in those days the dead were buried in funeral shrouds which also contained fishing nets, shirts, caps and diverse articles such as knives, flutes, needles and stakes. The deceased was held to the ground by a stake under the belief that he could move away.

Cotton began to be used approximately around year 2,000 BC and between 1,850 and 1,625 BC there was a significant demographic growth which increased agriculture and encouraged the construction of ceremonial and administrative centers in different parts of the area.

They used vegetable fibers for weaving their slingshots and "warakas" and also carved fine ceremonial staffs out of hard wood such as the 'chonta' which grew in the jungle. These carvings and ornaments with feathers in brilliant colors obtained from parrots or 'guacamayos' confirm that trade and exchange operations were held with communities at the other side of the mountains.

During the "Cave Age" (500 BC), they used spindles or 'puskas' for spinning and fibers obtained from cotton or camelidae (llama, alpaca, vicuņa, etc.) of superb fineness and quality for making cotton textiles with garrets out of camelidae fibers in different colors, with designs of felines and snakes or geometrical shapes. They also made embroidery, fretwork and double-faced tapestries; most times with the help of looms and ring-forming, knotting, braiding and braiding techniques.

During the age known as "Necropolis" (200 BC to 300 BC), the embroidery with which they completely covered the basic cotton cloth acquires greater significance as evidenced by the famous shawls made at the time.

Needles were obtained by perforating holes into cactus thorns and were kept in cases made out of cane; it is in this manner that they were placed inside the tombs.

The shawls in cream-colored cotton with feather ornaments and the first embroideries with polychrome shapes are also from this period. Textiles were made following the ring-making method and winding began to be applied in headbands and belts; thus making the funeral shrouds each time more magnificent.

Through the textiles To Related image to the Multimedia Gallery, the man from America expresses his beliefs; today, still outlasting in the Andes. This man perceives the earth, 'Mamapacha', as a living being which, in turn, gives life to the beings held within it. It is natural, therefore, that when man dies he returns to the earth as a seed of new life.


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