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Gender, Class and Textile Production: An Analysis of Casma Spindle Whorls from El Purgatorio, Peru

Author(s): Kristin Buhrow ; Melissa Vogel

Year: 2016

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Spindle whorls have historically been subjected to less archaeological attention than other artifact classes. This dearth of analysis may reflect an underestimation of the insights to be gained from spindle whorls, in terms of archaeological interpretations of gender, status, and exchange patterns, which may be much greater than previously acknowledged. The case study presented here examines a sample of spindle whorls from the Casma capital city of El Purgatorio, Peru. We examine their iconographic and functional designs with an eye to understanding these artifacts utilitarian tools, items of personal adornment, symbols of wealth and status, and possibly as indicators of intrapolity exchange patterns. The results show that many whorls were not only tools and utilitarian in function, but were also intended to be decorative and perhaps indicators of female wealth or status. The sample studied here also reflect varying degrees of standardization, suggesting that perhaps they were manufactured by specialists, and supplying insight into Casma state production practices.

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Gender, Class and Textile Production: An Analysis of Casma Spindle Whorls from El Purgatorio, Peru. Kristin Buhrow, Melissa Vogel. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404327)


andes Gender Textiles

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America