December 2013 Lecture:
Mapping Color Messages among the Paracas Necropolis Gravelots
Color-filled and intricately woven textiles have long been known from the Paracas peninsula of Southern Peru. Beginning in the 1930’s, studies have been conducted on the patterns and uses of color, for example, the colors that stand out for a distant viewer, and the color patterns in figures repeated on large mantles. Many of these analyses have been carried out on artifacts that were without archaeological provenience. Work by Rebeca Carrion and Anne Paul on textiles from known gravelots opened the door on the social meanings of color and other aspects of style. This talk will offer an analysis of a large sample of 160 gravelot textiles for which— thanks to museum archives —there is better contextual information available today. In the talk, I will define new color groups and new subdivisions of recognized style groups. I will compare color patterns to determine whether mantles have a unique semiotic role, and what their relationship was to sets of different types of garments with “matching” color, layout, and the like. More detailed information on color schemes of textiles coming from fully documented burials of 40 men and women can allow us to evaluate the emblematic and esoteric uses of color in relationship to social roles and exchange relationships.
Monthly meetings are held at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 1201 17th Street NW.
Date: Friday, December 6, 2013
Time: Refreshments: 6:45 pm
Meeting and lecture: 7:15 pm
Biography: Ann Peters first became fascinated with Paracas Necropolis textiles as an undergraduate at Yale University. She returned to the subject as part of her dissertation (PhD Cornell University 1997). Inspired by Anne Paul and the invitation of Carlos Del Aguila at the National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Peru, in 2003 she returned to researching Paracas Necropolis gravelot assemblages. Her subsequent work has received support from Dumbarton Oaks (2006-7) and from the National Science Foundation (2009-2013), and relies on collaboration with many colleagues and museums in Peru, Europe and the United States.