Panel with rectangles of blue and yellow featherwork
- Wari (Huari)
- 650–850 CE
In 1943 workers digging near the Peruvian village of La Victoria found eight ceramic jars, each featuring a portrait face on its neck. The jars, which are some of the finest ceremonial pottery produced by the coastal Huari (Wari) culture, contained ninety‑ six feathered panels like this one. It is not known if the panels were woven strictly as offerings, but this was certainly their ultimate function. The tradition of offertory caches is one of the distinctive characteristics of Huari culture. The saturated yellow and iridescent blue feathers came from the blue and gold macaw, a bird native to the tropical forests east of the Andes. The making of featherwork, while tedious, is thought to have been well organized and specialized. The shaft of each feather was bent back around a cotton cord and then secured by knots tied with a second cord. The cords of tied feathers were then secured with stitching to cotton cloth.
Bonnie Pitman, ed., "Panel with rectangles of blue and yellow featherwork (2001.262)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 29.