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. Narrow bands have a number of standard uses as are used by both sexes. Straps on coca bags, ties on wide belts and wrist adornments for dancers. They have a number of ad hoc uses as well in tying anything that needs tying. In recent times, they are sewn to shirts and vests for tourists. Young girls learn weaving skills and a pattern repertory by making many tesno. Older women continue to make them.


Woven for use by the family or for sale.

Cultural context


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

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). Warp is body tensioned between pin on skirt and big toe or ground stake.

Physical description

A long narrow band with a succession of tiny motifs composed of circles, spiked diamonds, crosses and reverse curves. Butterflies, birds and plants also appear. The white patterns on a green and red background are inverted on the other fabric face. The band is bordered with a dark purple strip. One end of the band is finished with a braid.