About this object

History of use

Warp-faced fabric with three or four selvedges are woven by women but the fabrics are used by both sexes. 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. Wide red belts are worn by most adults for everyday wear and special occasions. Most have a variety of figurative and geometric motifs, particularly in the central band. This belt is unusual in having only repetitive patterns which are usually confined to subsidiary positions on more elaborate belts. The patterning of this belt is similar to the patterning on older Taquile textiles.


Bought from the maker in her house in Taquile. She was wearing it at the time it was offered for sale. She made it about 8 years ago for her own use. Since Maria's eyesight has deteriorated, she does not weave the figurative designs that many younger women still weave. Maria knows how to weave fabrics and patterns that were popular 65 years ago, when she was a girl. The patterns on this belt are like those found on cloths, in the Museo Artesanal, in Taquile, from 50-75 years ago. Maria taught the collector and some Taquile weavers how to make c'elco, a woven band that was used formerly to edge women's carrying cloths.

Iconographic meaning

Hatun cruz (large or southern cross); central band motif. Faedma (architectural ruins); stepped triangle motif on side bands.

Specific techniques

Commercial synthetic yarns, z spun and plied 2 s, are retwisted before warping. The stripes and background are warp-faced plain weave. The pattern bands are a float weave derived from a turned 2/1 horizontal herringbone. The fabric is woven to size on a continuous warp and the terminal area is braided in 3 strand oblique interlacing. A replied cord is looped through the braids and knotted to a separately woven band. The band is a warp-faced complementary warp weave.

Physical description

Wide red belt with three lengthwise patterned stripes. Outer bands are stepped triangle shapes with white squares, center motif are white squares around green rectangles. Purple stripes flank center band, and also run along edges. One end of band terminates in fourteen braids which are looped on a green cord knotted to a narrow woven band. Woven ties has pink diagonal stripes on white.