About this object

History of use

Warp-faced fabrics with three or four selvedges are woven by women but the fabrics, the techniques, structures and some of the motifs have pre-Conquest antecedents. This type of textile conveys the most information about an individual's ethnicity, sex, age, status and particular history. The women weave near the house compound, particularly during July and August, between the seasons for harvesting and planting. They weave for themselves, for their families and for sale to tourists.


Prepared for the Museum collection by Candelaria Cruz Machaca. The belt is of the size that would be used by a boy in his early teens.

Cultural context

women's weaving

Iconographic meaning

The range of motifs refers to local geography and landmarks, ecology, fecundity as well as luck. The six part circle refers to the division of land into six sections on Taquile and the rotation of crops and fallow periods.

Specific techniques

Weave structures are the following: 1- plain colour areas- warp faced plain weave. 2-figurative designs; complementary-warp weave with 3-span floats aligned in alternate pairs with an irregular (abbabaab) warping order (3/1 horizontal colour changes and diagonals of 2-span floats).

Physical description

A loom (parts a-j) with an unfinished woven belt. The design consists of three white patterned bands with red and green figurative and geometric motifs all on a red ground. The textile is attached at the top and bottom to cylindrical shaped wooden sticks (part a). Intertwine in the multi-coloured warp are two cylindrical shaped heddles; one covered in red twine, the other in brown. There are also two cylindrical shaped wooden tools (parts b and c); five cylindrical shaped wooden tools with a pointed end (parts d,e,f,g,h), all of varying size; one bone pick (part i) and a black and brown braided rope (part j).