A CHIRIBAYA TEXTILE WOVEN WITH HUMAN HAIR
Artzi,Bat - ami
One of the textiles in the Maiman Collection is a long band that has been attributed to the Chiribaya Culture (1000 - 1350 AD), a group of Tiwanaku descendants that settled in an oasis of the Moquegua Desert in southern Peru, and in the Azapa Valley near Arica in northern Chile, (Maytas/ San Miguel phases). The textile technique used is complementary warp, meaning that both sides are identical but the design is reversed. Black human hair forms the image on white cotton net. There is no precedent for the use of human hair strands as a complementary warp in such a long textile piece. A repeating image occurs along the length of the band that we have interpreted as a segmented anthropomorphic female figure. The head bears a typical female headdress, the upper body is depicted with three parallel lines and includes breasts, and the lower body displays female sexual organs, perhaps with the interior shown also.