Sicán Painted Textiles: Producer's and Multi-Craft Perspectives

Author(s): Amy Szumilewicz

Year: 2016


Two types of painted textiles exist within controlled funerary contexts from the Middle Sicán culture (900-1100 CE) on the North coast of Peru. The first represents the genre of painted cloth in a traditional sense: woven textiles with decorative elements added to the final product. The other is a more complex, multi-crafted and multi-stepped object that combines the labor intensive production of sheet-metal, cotton textile, gesso-like clay, and the final application of painted designs. These two classes of painted textiles served different functions within their shared contexts. The first as malleable linings for the interior of the deceased’s funerary bundle, and the latter as rigid “wrappings” for the tomb itself. This poster compares the technologies of these objects through material, production, and their ultimate uses. Discussion focuses on producers’ roles in not only the manufacture of textile media alone, but the likelihood of a production process not limited to single material-single crafter models. These objects provide a site for understanding plural identities of crafters involved in interactive, multi-crafting settings.

Cite this Record

Sicán Painted Textiles: Producer's and Multi-Craft Perspectives. Amy Szumilewicz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404325)


Andean Crafting Textiles

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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