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Abstract This pilot project focused on the assessment of ethnic diversity based on textile styles of the descendents of the Chinchorro in the Atacama desert.

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Presentation on theme: "Abstract This pilot project focused on the assessment of ethnic diversity based on textile styles of the descendents of the Chinchorro in the Atacama desert."— Presentation transcript:

1 Abstract This pilot project focused on the assessment of ethnic diversity based on textile styles of the descendents of the Chinchorro in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. In addition to textile analysis, radiographs were employed to seek burial goods which might offer information regarding affiliation with a particular ethnic group. Fourteen mummy bundles housed at the Museo Arqueologica San Miguel de Azapa were observed, including one adolescent female, one adult female, one adult of unknown sex, and 11 infants. Current data suggests four potential groups, 1) locals using solid colored textiles, 2) locals using brightly striped textiles, 3) locals using Inca style textiles with local burial goods, 4) foreigners using Inca style textiles. The current sample size is only suggestive, a larger number of individuals will be observed before making a final conclusion. Further research will entail a more extensive analysis of a larger number of adult and sub-adult textiles that may or may not be bundled. Ethnic Markers in Pre-Historic Chilean Textiles. Gwyn Madden 1 and Bernardo Arriaza 2 ( 1 Grand Valley State University, 2 University of Tarapaca) Acknowledgements Research and Development, GVSU Padnos International Center, GVSU Department of Anthropology, GVSU University of Tarapaca, Arica, Chile Museo Arqueologica San Miguel de Azapa, Arica, Chile Tim Elrod, GVSU student assistant References Cassman, V Prehistoric Andean Ethnicity and Status: The Textile Evidence. In Beyond Cloth and Cordage: Archaeological Textile Research in the Americas, P.B. Drooker, ed., Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. Focacci, G El Tiwanaku Clasico en el Valle de Azapa. Documento de Trabajo. Arica: Universidad de Tarapaca. Llagostera, A Hipotesis Sobre la Expansion Incaica en la Vertiente Occidental de los Andes Meridionales. In Homenaje al R.P. Gustavo Le Paige, Santiago: Ministerio de Educacion. Munoz, I El poblamiento aldeano en el Valle de Azapa y su vinculacion con Tiwanaku (Arica- Chile). In Asentamientos aldeanos en los valles costeros de Arica, I. Muiioz and J. Cordova eds, Documento de Trabajo 3. Arica: Universidad de Tarapaca. Rodman, A.O Textiles and Ethnicity: Tiwanaku in San Pedro de Atacama, North Chile. Latin American Antiquity 3(4): Sackett, J Approaches to Style in Lithic Archaeology. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 1: Zorn, E Modern Traditions: The Impact of the Trade in Traditional Textiles on the Sakaka of Northern Potosi Bolivia. In Proceeding of the Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium, Washington D.C. Background This research sought to establish ethnic differentiation based on burial textiles and goods found in mummy bundles in the Azapa Valley between 560 BC – AD To date few studies have been conducted to interpret ethnic differences among the inhabitants of the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. It is important to rectify this situation as their Peruvian neighbors to the north have been well documented ethnically based on differences noted in style of ceramics and textiles used in preparing the mummy bundles (Cassman 2000). Ethnic differentiation once established will allow for a more extensive analysis of inter-group and intra-group structure and interaction. The definition of style used in this research is thought of as “a highly specific and characteristic way of doing something which by its very nature is peculiar to a specific place and time” (Sackett 1982:63). Ethnicity on the other hand will be understood as maintenance of a distinctiveness between culture groups, which may include multiple levels of differentiation from the kin group to larger historical groupings (Rodman 1992). Therefore, a specific way of creating textiles and ceramics, including the colors and symbols employed, is suggestive of creation of ethnic boundaries between groups. Study of this potential distinction in the textiles and artifacts will be used to determine ethnic boundaries. Textiles specifically are believed to require more time and labor to create, and are considered the “most sensitive social indicators” as they are the “most personal and intimate artifacts of the social persona” (Cassman 2000:257). Information in the textiles suggesting ethnic differentiation which will be observed following Cassman (2000:258) include “weave structure, dyes, surface embellishments, form, repair, and overall style”. According to Zorn (1997), “even today, textiles are regarded as precious commodities in many traditional Andean communities,” which has been a pan-Andean trend for at least 2000 years (Cassman 2000). Information from textiles can be used in conjunction with the well established data on ceramic styles to create a system for identifying ethnic differences within the group (Focacci 1982, 1983; Munoz 1983). The few studies that have been undertaken to establish ethnicity (Cassman 2000; Rodman 1992; Llagostera 1976) have primarily focused on the relationship of the northern Chilean population to the Tiwanaku in Peru (predecessors of the Inca). This research seeks to look further back in time within the local Chilean population to try to establish the presence or absence of ethnic differentiation, and determine what role this potential differentiation may have played in later historical events. This is especially important as according to Rodman (1992:318), the Atacama area has played “host to a long-term interaction sphere that predated Tiwanaku influence.” Methodology Visual observation and documentation of the burial textiles of 14 mummy bundles from the Azapa Valley in the Atacama Desert, Chile was carried out at the Museo Arqueologica San Miguel de Azapa. Textile documentation included color, style, and weave of the inner and outer wrappings. Burial goods attached to the external textiles were also observed visually. As mummy bundles from this region frequently hold burial goods that can be used to determine style, and thus time period and ethnic group, radiographs were taken to seek these goods. In cases where burial goods were seen on radiograph, endoscopy was employed to further determine style of the goods. Results No iconography was employed in the creation of any of the textiles observed. Stripes were the most common design, although no particular pattern was seen linking individuals together. Colors used in the stripes could potentially be restricted to certain cemeteries. For example, there is no green in the textiles of the Playa Miller, Azapa 6, Azapa 9, Azapa 75, Camarones, and Inka cemetery textiles. Additionally, orange is only seen in Azapa 9 and Azapa 71 textiles. Three of the bundles were bound using reeds, three were bound with thread, and the remaining eight were bound with tan or brown rope. It appears that there are four or more categories of bundle textile use, these may represent ethnic group but could also be representative of chronological change within a larger local group. The earliest cemetery Playa Miller was represented by one individual (PLM ; figure 1) in the study, this individual had a pattern free tan outer wrap and a tan and brown inner wrap. The second category of bundle textile is seen at Azapa 115, with only stripes used in the creation of the textile. The third category is seen at three sites, Azapa 9, Azapa 71, and Camarones 9. This third group have colored head wraps and striped textiles on the bodies (figures 2-5, 7). Azapa 9 is interesting due to the small handled jug included within the bundle (figure 6), which provided the date for the mummy. The final group is represented by dark brown outer wrappings and Inca style woven caps. There are potentially other groups that could be differentiated, as those with the colored head wraps are of two types: 1) colored strings wrapped around the head on the external wrapping (figure 2), 2) colored textiles wrapped around the head (figures 3-5). Additional differentiation is noted in Camarones 9, a representative of the colored textiles wrapped around the head, which exhibits eleven white and pink arrow heads and 9 salmon colored feathers dangling from a wooden/vine head band (figure 7-8). It seems likely that the colored strings led to the colored textiles over time. The other potential group would be a derivative of both the Inka and the colored head wraps. Azapa 15 is bundled in dark brown textile with an Inca cap, but also has two types of vine painted red encircling the head. One vine is thin and from it dangles a stick that has been painted red. The second thicker vine has several salmon colored feathers and an off white arrow head attached. A striped belt is also noted wrapped twice around the waist of AZ 15. It has not been determined if AZ 15 represents either a local taking on Inca traits, or an Inca taking on local traits. It must be noted that the chronology of the textiles only holds for infants/juveniles. The two adults in the study, Azapa 75 T56 and T79 are tan and brown with striped belts. Potentially we may be observing differentiation between mortuary ritual as practiced for adults versus juveniles. CemeteriesTime In UseIdentificationColor/StyleDecorationsBurial Goods Playa Miller560 BCPLM Outer Brown, Inner TanNoneReed Mat Azapa BCT3StripesNoneMetal Stars in Bundle Azapa ADT72 M/41 Outer Tan, Inner StripesBlue Thread Around HeadNone Azapa ADT14 Tan Head, Body StripesNone Striped Textile Mat, Sticks, Coca Pack, Dark Brown Unprocessed Wool Azapa ADT79, T56 Outer Brown, Inner TanRed & Blue Inner BeltCeramic Pot Handle Azapa AD T167, T310, T5C1, 3144, T126 Colored Head, Body StripesBlue String Around Neck Dark Brown & Off White Unprocessed Wool Camarones1410 ADT Colored Head, Body Stripes, Inner Dark Brown Arrowhead Headband w/ Feathers, Camel Colored Inner BeltNone Inka ADI48Outer Dark BrownMulticolored Woven HatNone Azapa 15?Inca Outer Brown, Inner Tan Multicolored Woven Hat, Striped Belt, Arrowhead Headband w/ FeathersComb, Painted Sticks Figure 1. PLM , solid textile with reed mat. Figure 2. AZ 71 T310, solid head wrap. Figure 3. AZ 71 T167, solid head wrap with striped body wrap. Figure 4. AZ 71 T126, solid head wrap with striped body wrap. Figure 5. AZ T9, solid head wrap with striped body wrap. Figure 6. AZ T9, radiograph showing pot within bundle. Figure 7. Camarones 9, solid head wrap with striped body wrap. Also, note arrow heads on head band. Figure 8. Camarones 9, radiograph showing presence of arrow heads. Figure 9. Inka 48, solid body wrap with Inka style cap. Figure 10. AZ 15, solid body wrap with Inka cap and arrow heads on head band.


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