Textile Fragments from Peru
These three archaeological textile fragments represent the diversity of Andean weaving styles. Design motifs include imagery of serpents, birds, and stars and are reflective of indigenous cosmological beliefs. These pieces also demonstrate the wide variety of coloration utilized in weavings, demonstrating the depth of knowledge Andean peoples had concerning natural dyes available in their environment. The bright red coloration seen in two of these textiles was most likely accomplished with cochineal, a dye extracted from a scale insect of the same name which resides on cactus plants.