Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



In Approaching Textiles, Varying Viewpoints: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000


Copyright © 2000 by the author(s).


The Chavin cotton textiles created during the first millennium bc contain both painted and structured images. These images closely resemble both the carved stone images found on the temple of Chavin de Huantar and the images portrayed on the metal and stone artifacts attributed to Chavin burials. Through iconographic analysis it is possible to easily trace the influence that Chavin images had on the imagery of subsequent Andean cultures, but it is also quite possible to trace the influence that the Chavin structural techniques had on subsequent Andean weaving. This paper examines the relationship between the use of textile structures in the Chavin textiles and the use of those structures in cultures that show direct Chavin visual influence and on cultures whose visual connection to Chavin iconography seems remote. The question is examined as to whether the new technical fabric structures found in the Chavin textiles were in themselves the "messages" or at least part of the "messages" or were merely techniques subservient to the "messages" that were conveyed by the iconography.