Temporary Exhibitions

Plumage of the Gods – 1989

This exhibit included important pieces from the collection of the Fundación Cultural Quipus of Bolivia. It explored the use and significance of feathers in artwork and the beliefs and rituals of the Altiplano groups involved. The aridity of the Central Andean coast has preserved many remarkable examples of featherwork, an artistic tradition that came into being more than six thousand years ago in fishing communities that knew nothing of agriculture, weaving or ceramics. Using Amazon bird feathers obtained through exchange, the Altiplano peoples became highly skilled in featherwork art. Like many native cultures of the Americas, these people placed a high value on feathers and developed a complete symbolic and ritual system around their use, giving rise to one of the most exquisite though relatively unknown forms of pre-Colombian art.

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