Fabrics and lace pre-colombian Perù


‘The exhibition presents 40 arte-facts, of one of the world’s most ancient activities: weaving. The-se all belong to successive cul-tures of those regions which ma-de up the province of the Inca empire at the time of the arriva-l of the Spaniards in the “New World”. The exhibits include fa-brics and lace from pre–Columbian Perù dating from the 1st to the 16th centuries (the Spanish conquest began in 1534) and are part of the Pietro Lorenzelli collection. These artefacts are the surviving witnesses of the destruction which took place following the Spanish conquest and the fruit of cultures in which religion per-vaded every aspect of the daily lives of the people. These fabrics ‘were not made simply to ele-gantly protect the body, but al-so to underline the rank of the wearer and the religious significance of the various ceremo-nies… Clothes could not have played such a role if they had not been made of rich, highly de-corated and coniequent1y symbolic fabrics; a symbolism which was most important for the peo-ple of Perù who, not being ac-quainted with writing, were in-clined to give particular impor-tance to colours and pictogra-phic motives’ (L. L. Minelli). Mo-re or less stylized pictures of ani-mals (birds, snakes, fish, big cats), all interwoven to form geometric shapes. Stylized pic-tures of human beings that reveal a global vision of the uni-verse. The animals take part in life on a par with humans. Some are even earthly representations of gods and demons. An expert, J. F. Eielson says, ‘The transmission of mythical language, in a people who did know writing, uses a visual media which clearly acts as writing and it is only by means of this writing, or better still, of its in-tertextuality between one sign and another that the poem, or the myth become poem, materia-lizes’. It is no wonder that in ancient Perù weaving was conside-red a sacred activity. It is true to say of the laces exhibited that each one of them takes us back to our origins as human beings.’


20 Agosto 1989 - 27 Agosto 1989


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions