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. Are used by both sexes. Rectangular cloths of this size are worn hanging from the waist by women for some fiesta dances, for example the 24th of June and Pentecost. They are woven over top of many layered skirts. Two hip cloths are worn in conjunction with a shoulder cloth.


Made and used by Candelaria Cruz Machaca.

Cultural context

fiesta dancing

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. The striated diamond and cross refer to the raised furrows of tilled fields.

Specific techniques

Weave structures are the following: 1-plain colour areas are 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). 3- stripe with squares; float weave derived from turned 2/1 horizontal herringbone with floats forming squares.

Physical description

Cloth, rectangular, woven from red wool with three wider and two narrower bands of green and red geometric, fish and bird figure motifs on off-white flanked by multicoloured stripes.