Of universal appeal and great beauty, Peruvian featherworking was part of a highly sophisticated textile tradition spanning several thousand years. Although these rare treasures, which include vibrantly colored and detailed garments, headdresses, personal ornaments, and ritual objects, have been admired and collected by conisseurs for decades, this unusual and exquisite art form has t been much investigated or published. Peruvian Featherworks, a magnificently illustrated publication, is the first in-depth and authoritative review of featherworking traditions in Ancient Peru. Written by seven international experts in the textile arts and archaeology, the texts include a discussion of important recent discoveries, considerations of icography, and basic technical characteristics of featherworks. Nearly seventy outstanding pieces are discussed, as well as evidence of feather mosaic on textiles and other media in most major Andean cultures, from the Paracas (about 600-100 B.C.) through the Inca (1470-1534).
Heidi King is senior research associate in the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.