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Inca Textile Polychrome Ceremonial Honda

Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Incan Empire, ca. 1300 to 1532 CE. A beautiful and lengthy textile sling (or honda) comprised of tightly-woven camelid (llama or alpaca wool) fibers in hues of maroon, ruby, citrine, wheat, and coral. The main body of the sling has two thick panels of slender zigzag motifs flanking either side of a rhombus-shaped projectile holder with red-and-beige diamond-shaped designs on the interior. Extending from either end of the main body is a coiling strap with alternating petite sections of crimson and wheat areas, each with a corded fringe section on either end. An amazing example from the ancient Incan Empire! Mounted on fabric backing. Size (textile): 66" L x 3.75" W (167.6 cm x 9.5 cm); size (backing): 84" L x 20.25" W (213.4 cm x 51.4 cm).

This example lacks a slit and was non-functional as true weaponry. Instead it was most likely used in ceremonial rituals. Even today, ceremonial slings are used in parts of the Andes as accessories in dances and in mock battles. The ancient Inca made their slings our of llama wool. They relished contrasting dark and light pigments and mastered painstaking braiding techniques.

Condition: Age-commensurate surface wear, light fraying to interior and peripheral threads, with light fading and discoloration, otherwise intact and very good.

Provenance: private, Hawaii, USA collection

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