120.7 cm (47 1/2 inches) (length)
Bequest of Martha B. Lisle
Textile artists working under state patronage during the Inka empire (1438–1533) reached extraordinary levels of refinement. This was especially true of cotton interlocked-tapestry-weave textiles, used primarily for ceremonial garments. The Spanish conquest of the Inka in 1532 ultimately led to the decline of this weaving tradition while immeasurably enriching the Spanish colonizers, who exerted violence on indigenous populations and stripped natural resources for their own profit.
This panel, produced in Peru in the 1600s under Spanish patronage, merges old and new design vocabularies. Plant, animal, and fish motifs typical of Inka culture intermingle with images of a man in Spanish dress playing a guitar and a woman in Andean clothing. The border evokes the floral designs on Spanish lace, with the addition of Andean birds.