Event/Speaker

Symposium: Woven Worlds: The Social Lives of Andean Textiles

Date

Monday, April 14, 2014

Time

1:30 pm – 4:45 pm

Place

38 West 86th Street

212.501.3019, academicevents@bgc.bard.edu

Description

Renowned for their distinctive styles and elaborate decorative motifs, Andean textiles are lauded as visually stunning pieces of art in written scholarship and museum exhibitions. However, for centuries the social significance of woven cloth within Andean communities has extended far beyond its aesthetic quality. Variations in dress communicate social identities, demarcating not only gender and age differences, but also ethnic identity and even village membership. In pre-Hispanic times, textiles were at the core of ritual practice, constituting a central component of funerary assemblages and given in sacrifice to the earth and gods. Demanded as tribute by the Inca state and offered as valuable gifts to cement political relationships, textiles were essential to the Inca economy and elite strategies of statecraft. During the Colonial Period, dress was both reflective and constitutive of the process of cultural interchange, as indigenous weavers were co-opted into Spanish textile workshops and European materials and styles were incorporated into Andean costume. Examining the ‘social lives’ of woven cloth in the Andean past and present, this symposium treats textiles as objects that interject in human experience in Andean South America, and incorporates perspectives from archaeologists, ethno-historians and art historians to explore the vital cultural, political, economic and ritual roles of cloth in the Andes.

Renowned for their distinctive styles and elaborate decorative motifs, Andean textiles are lauded as visually stunning pieces of art in written scholarship and museum exhibitions. However, for centuries the social significance of woven cloth within Andean communities has extended far beyond its aesthetic quality. Variations in dress communicate social identities, demarcating not only gender and age differences, but also ethnic identity and even village membership. In pre-Hispanic times, textiles were at the core of ritual practice, constituting a central component of funerary assemblages and given in sacrifice to the earth and gods. Demanded as tribute by the Inca state and offered as valuable gifts to cement political relationships, textiles were essential to the Inca economy and elite strategies of statecraft. During the Colonial Period, dress was both reflective and constitutive of the process of cultural interchange, as indigenous weavers were co-opted into Spanish textile workshops and European materials and styles were incorporated into Andean costume. Examining the ‘social lives’ of woven cloth in the Andean past and present, this symposium treats textiles as objects that interject in human experience in Andean South America, and incorporates perspectives from archaeologists, ethno-historians and art historians to explore the vital cultural, political, economic and ritual roles of cloth in the Andes.
1:30pm
Peter N. Miller
Dean and Professor, Bard Graduate Center
“Welcome”
Nicola Sharratt
Bard Graduate Center
“Introduction”
1:45pm
Amy Oakland
Art, California State University, East Bay
“'Es costumbre no más': Style and Meaning in Archaeological Textiles”
2:30pm
Gary Urton
Anthropology, Harvard University
“The Social Life of Khipus”
3:15pm
Coffee Break
3:30pm
Elena Phipps
President, Textile Society of America
“Textiles, Color and Identity in the Andes”
4:15pm
Panel Discussion
4:45pm
Reception

1:30pm

Peter N. Miller
Dean and Professor, Bard Graduate Center
“Welcome”

Nicola Sharratt
Bard Graduate Center
“Introduction”

1:45pm

Amy Oakland
Art, California State University, East Bay
'Es costumbre no más': Style and Meaning in Archaeological Textiles”

2:30pm

Gary Urton
Anthropology, Harvard University
“The Social Life of Khipus”

3:15pm

Coffee Break

3:30pm

Elena Phipps
President, Textile Society of America
“Textiles, Color and Identity in the Andes”

4:15pm

Panel Discussion
Chair: Nicola Sharratt, Bard Graduate Center

4:45pm

Reception

RSVP is required. Please click on the registration link at the bottom of this page or contact academicevents@bgc.bard.edu.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. Registrants who arrive late may be seated in an overflow viewing area.

To live-stream this and other special academic events at the BGC, please visit BGCTV, our online live-streaming channel.

To join the discussion remotely via twitter, either with questions or comments, please use the twitter hashtag #BardGradCenterTV. During the symposium, the faculty conveners will review this feed and ask the speakers questions drawn from twitter.


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