AMANO BIRDS AND FEATHERS

Amano Pre-Columbian Textile Museum

Birds designs and featherwork in the Ancient Peru

INTRODUCTION
The exhibition shows the best pieces with birds designs and featherwork in the Amano Precolumbian Textile Museum collection, showing ceramic potteries with examples of how different cultures represented birds, their feathers and diverse ornaments and artworks created with feathers.

Each culture in Peru developed a different way of representing the feathers and ornaments that were made with them.

CHAVÍN. ANCIENT FEATHER ORNAMENTS 1000 - 100 BC
The oldest feather ornaments are dated at about 3000 years ago, when the first priests in temples, as Chavin, adopted the attributes of birds. Carved Chavín stones testify to it.

Carved character with features of the Chavin culture: feline characteristics, wings and a human head held in his right hand.

PARACAS. WEAVERS IN THE DESERT 800 BC - 200 AD
This complex culture occupied the south coast of Peru; it reached an exquisite handling of textiles, representing its goods, many of which were birds. The featherwork for this stage is scarce but of great artistic quality.

In cultures like Paracas, the journey to the other world was accompanied by supernatural deities, half birds half men.

NASCA: 200 BC - 800 AD
This culture, heir to Paracas, had a deep connection with birds and feathers, favorite ornaments of nobles and priests.
MOCHE: 100 - 800 AD
The northern Peru is a great desert crossed by narrow oases, in that space the town Mochica developed a succession of lordships with diverse alliances in their more than 700 years of existence.
FEATHERS FOR WARRIORS AND RULERS
The brave Mochica warriors wore feather ornaments on their helmets or headdresses, to reflect their speed and courage.
WARI: 600 - 1100 AD
The great Wari empire in the Peruvian highlands probably started as a commercial bridge between different societies. With time and its economy benefitting from seasonal climatic changes, it managed to develop and establish alliances with nearby towns, starting a fast growth, to extend its identity and customs to quite distant towns, such as Nasca, Mochica and Cajamarca.
CHANCAY: 1000 - 1450 AD
This village of skillful craftsmen developed on the central coast of Peru, in alliance with other important kingdoms such as Chimú. With the appearance and growth of the Inca Empire, this culture was reached and voluntarily submitted to the power of the Incas, maintaining its identity and prestige as a society of skilful weavers.
FEATHERS AND POWER
Some beautiful ornaments, like feather crowns, were reserved for the most important rulers.
BIRDS IN GAUZES
The gauze ornaments worn on the head enclose a spirit between its threads and designs. This is why they have the power to protect their users.
CHIMU: 900 - 1470 AD
This kingdom to the north, descended from the great Mochica culture, was successfully organized around the management of resources and the prestige of its rulers or huacas, had the power to control most of the valleys of the north coast.
BIRDS AND HUMAN HEADS
This tunic has designs which represent birds holding human heads. This was a symbol of the power of the semigod rulers -sons of seabirds- over the life of the human beings.
FEATHER FROM WHERE AND FROM WHAT?
Feather art that we can appreciate in different cultures, shows two means of obtaining feathers, one corresponds to the hunting of some local birds of beautiful and small feathers. The other means of production tells us of trade at great distances, where Amazonian birds were bred to provide feathers for a long time or were dyed to generate new shades of color. Some of the recognizable feathers come from flamingos, macaws and parrots, hummingbirds, wild ducks, American native herons and seabirds.
INCA EMPIRE: 1200 - 1532 AD
The Inca empire was the greatest empire of the new world. Its extension covered a large part of five of the current South American countries. Its organization began with the cusco, a form of lordship struggling for territory, passing through the stage of a kingdom cemented by family alliances, to become a powerful empire of great diplomatic and military capabilities.
FEATHERED ART, FADED IN TIME
After the time of the Inca empire, with the arrival of the conquistadors and the transformation of the American world, cultural shock also affected the production of diversity of feather ornaments, as well as their integration into popular culture; it no longer exists as a tradition today. The use of feathers persists only in its most original form in the crowns of the chiefs in the Amazonian communities or in traditional dances of some communities, where they are only used in special private dances.
Credits: Story

Exhibition design
Museo Textil Precolombino Amano.

Presidence / Director.
Mario Amano / Mika Amano

Curatorial work:
Doris Robles / Bruno Alva

Archaeological Collectión:
Museo Textil Precolombino Amano
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Photography:
Museo Textil Precolombino Amano
Jose Carlos Orrillo Puga
Anel Pancorvo

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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