Andean Textiles

See works of art
  • Womans wedding mantle (lliclla) with interlace and tocapu design
  • Womans Mantle (Lliclla)
  • Miniature Tunic (Uncu)

Works of Art (4)


Andean weaving was among the arts practiced in colonial Latin America that retained the closest connection to Precolumbian traditions. The flocks of alpacas and other camelids that had yielded tapestry cloth of a beauty astonishing to the Spanish newcomers continued to anchor life among the Aymara and Quechua peoples. The gradual incorporation of European motifs into their garments did not alter the centrality of textiles to the value system of these indigenous communities.

Johanna Hecht
Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

October 2003


Hecht, Johanna. “Andean Textiles.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2003)

Further Reading

Phipps, Elena, et al. The Colonial Andes: Tapestries and Silverwork, 1530–1830. Exhibition catalogue. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.

Stone-Miller, Rebecca. To Weave for the Sun: Andean Textiles in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Exhibition catalogue. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1992.

Additional Essays by Johanna Hecht