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Fragment of Mantle or Poncho

Arts of the Americas

The elaborate anthropomorphic figures depicted on this fragment, termed Plant Beings by scholars, combine human appendages with monkey feet; a bird wing at the back; and the whiskers and stripes of the pampas cat. Each figure holds a staff in one hand and a vine of beans in the other. Sprouting seeds and plants emanating from serpent-headed streamers refer to fertility and rebirth. The streamers, which flow from the mouth, head, and wing of each figure, may be interpreted as blood, a symbol of life and death.
MEDIUM Camelid fibers
DATES 100 B.C.E.-200 C.E.
DIMENSIONS 4 5/8 x 22 1/2 in. (11.7 x 57.2 cm) Other: 10 x 28in. (25.4 x 71.1cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Gift of Morris de Camp Crawford, Jr.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Border fragment woven in camelid fiber with camelid embroidery. The imagery stands out against the light tan plain weave background. Represented are two figures with monkey feet, serrated legs, and a feline mask. The figures float in reverse directions and hold streamers of beans and staffs decorated with tuber-like plants. A border of this type would have been part of a mantle or poncho.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Paracas. Fragment of Mantle or Poncho, 100 B.C.E.-200 C.E. Camelid fibers, 4 5/8 x 22 1/2 in. (11.7 x 57.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Morris de Camp Crawford, Jr., 1997.56.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1997.56.2_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1997.56.2_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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