The Finishing Touch: Accessories from the Bolivian Highlands
will be start on February 15 up till September 18, 2008.
The Textile Museum recently acquired a large group of charming accessories from the Bolivian highlands. These belts, bags and other items inspired this exhibition, which also includes Bolivian textiles already in the Museum's collection.
The woven and knitted pieces were collected in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when such examples, made in the early to middle 20th century with handspun wool yarns, were commonly available.
Subsequently, the more prevalent use of commercially produced yarns has changed the overall look of handwoven cloth.
The belts, bags and other accessories in the exhibition, although small, are often invested with great care and even more fully decorated than larger shawls and ponchos. Some are used in daily dress, while the more elaborate examples were often made for festival costumes.
The bags serve a variety of purposes, from decorative accents in festival dress to utilitarian containers for the farmer's lunch in the fields.
The exhibition also features other garments, such as the Charazani area omen's headband, still called by its Inca name, wincha, and the small shoulder ponchos of the Tarabuco area, still called unku, the Inca word for tunic.
The broad range of techniques, patterns and items in the exhibition reflects the many regional variations that characterize the cultural wealth of the Bolivian highlands.
The Finishing Touch: Accessories from the Bolivian Highlands is curated by Ann P. Rowe, Curator, Western Hemisphere Collections.