Nuance, Brilliance and Sheen: Textile color qualities in the Andean World

Author(s): Elena Phipps

Year: 2016


Andean textile artists transformed fibers and dyes from nature to create complex color palettes attuned to the aesthetic of their time and place. Creating unique qualities not only of value and hue, qualities of color—in nuance shades, degree of sheen and brilliance-- Andean dyers, spinners and weavers built a vocabulary of color that contributed to the meaning and value of textiles in their social, political and creative context. From Chavin religious and supernatural figures created through working pigment into the cotton yarns to form the designs, the widely polychromed Paracas embroideries that use color range as well as sequencing to convey meaning, to Inca blood-red garments and Aymara 18th century Tornesol mantles with high sheen and silk-like qualities with their related lloque effects, all represent aspects of a long and creative tradition. This tradition, viewed as a history of materiality of color and its associated properties will be the subject of this presentation.

Cite this Record

Nuance, Brilliance and Sheen: Textile color qualities in the Andean World. Elena Phipps. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403312)


Color Peru Textile

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;