Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Published in The Social Fabric: Deep Local to Pan Global; Proceedings of the Textile Society of America 16th Biennial Symposium. Presented at Vancouver, BC, Canada; September 19 – 23, 2018. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/tsaconf/

doi 10.32873/unl.dc.tsasp.0047


Copyright © 2018 by the author


This paper will explore various manifestations of the Rayed Head motif that is found on textiles produced by the Nasca, Sihuas, and Pucara cultures during the Early Intermediate Period (200 BCE – 600 CE), in the southern Andean region of South America. The Brooklyn Museum’s famous Nasca mangle, also known as “The Paracas Textile,” features repeating images of the Rayed Head motif on its interior cotton panel. Sihuas mantles also display distinctive manifestations of the motif in the form of a large rectangular head with highly stylized features and surrounded by radiating appendages. The late textile scholar and archaeologist Joerg Haeberli has pointed out many similarities between Sihuas and Nasca textiles such as their weaving techniques and iconography (including the Rayed Head), and has proposed that the valleys of Arequipa and the south coast were linked during the late Early Horizon and Early Intermediate Period, perhaps due to dispersed Nasca enclaves in Arequipa. Utilizing textiles in the Brooklyn Museum and other public and private collections, the author will further explore this regional relationship as well as a similar iconographic correspondence with the Rayed Head motif found on Pucara-style objects associated with the Yaya-Mama (Father-Mother) religious tradition in the Lake Titicaca of Peru and Bolivia.