Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Chile before Chile


Textiles for the gods

Many pre-Hispanic tombs have yielded bags and cloths such as those displayed here. Some contained household items, coca leaves and/or agricultural products, others were empty. These cloth items had ritual and ceremonial uses, like the chuspas (pouches) and taris (altar cloths) used by present-day Aymaras, reflecting a cultural tradition spanning 1500 years. The use, style and manufacturing techniques of these items communicated the identity and religious beliefs of those who made and used them.