February 28, 2008 Archaeologists Find 5,500-year-old Plaza in Peru

5,500 year old plaza
5,500 year old plaza

(Reuters) – A ceremonial plaza built 5,500 years ago has been discovered in Peru, and archaeologists involved in the dig said on Monday carbon dating shows it is one of the oldest structures ever found in the Americas.

A team of Peruvian and German archaeologists uncovered the circular plaza, which was hidden beneath another piece of architecture at the ruins known as Sechin Bajo, in Casma, 229 miles north of Lima, the capital.  Friezes depicting a warrior with a knife and trophies were found near the plaza.

To read the entire article click here.

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February 22, 2008 The Resurrection of a Chancay Warrior

Chancay Warrior Textile and T-Shirt
Chancay Warrior Textile and T-Shirt

The Chancay people inhabited the Chancay and Chillón valleys on the central coast of Peru circa AD 1000 – 1476. They are best known for their textiles and fortunately thousands of Chancay textiles survive in museums around the world. This is in part due to a good environment for preservation on the Peruvian coast, but is also probably the result of extensive production. The Chancay are often compared with the more widely known and intensively studied Chimu culture of the North Coast. The Chancay and Chimu were often in conflict with each other because they shared a common border. However, because of this, they share many similarities in their textiles. Both kingdoms were conquered and incorporated into the Inca Empire in the mid to late 13th century AD.

Our Chancay Warrior T-Shirt is hand embroidered to replicate an original textile depicting a warrior deity preparing for battle.  Notice he is surrounded by fish and as a coastal people the Chancay used fish not only as a food source but also as a ritual ingredient and even the fish bones were utilized as part of their weaponry. 

Tap into your warrior spirit with these Chancay inspired designs:

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February 13, 2008 African Mud Cloth

Mud_cloth
Mud_cloth

As you may have already surmised, Annie is an enthusiastic and learned collector of textiles from around the world. Her passion for these windows on culture is contagious and so it is not surprising to find our design team pulling inspiration from textiles from around the globe. Such is the case with our Grand Bazaar Cardigan (pictured above).

The name was chosen to reflect the rich spicy hues present within Istanbul’s largest market. However, the motif design itself is from an African mud cloth pattern. Bogolanfini, which translates as "mud cloth", is a long established tradition that originated in central Mali. Hand-dyed mud cloth uses a centuries old process with numerous applications of various plant teas and mud to dye hand woven cotton cloth. Each piece tells a story and no two are alike. The symbols, arrangements and color reveal secrets to the trained eye. The designs also define a person’s social status, character or occupation. Mud cloth is an expression of Malian national identity and a symbol of belonging within the African Culture.

The Smithsonian Institution has created a fabulous site where you can create your own viritual Bogolanfini mud cloth. Enjoy!

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February 12, 2008 The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey

The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey are a quiet yet iconic image of Turkish tradition.  However, most do not know that the whirling dance is a spiritual ritual echoing the revolutions made in nature and in human spirituality.  To learn more about The Whirling Dervishes visit this great site.

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A Renaissance Man – Kaffe Fassett

Kaffeblog_2
Kaffeblog_2

Kaffe (L) and his Kilim Garden Cardigan for PC (R)

Kaffe Fassett has attracted many fans worldwide to knitting, needlepoint, patchwork and mosaic…including us! He began designing for Peruvian Connection 8 years ago and our successful collaboration has yielded a unique following as we are the only place you can find completed Kaffe Fasset art-knits. Before we began working with Kaffe the only way you could own a Kaffe Fasset sweater was to buy his pattern and knit it yourself.

A best selling author (11 books to date), Kaffe has hosted his own TV series "Glorious Color" and was the first ever living artist to have a one man show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. A Renaissance man, Kaffe also designs wallpaper, fabric and interior accessories. Designed specifically for Peruvian Connection, we are proud to offer several new designs from Kaffe Fasset this season including, for the first time ever, an intarsia hand-knit throw and matching pillow.

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