Semester of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Anthropology

Document Type



This thesis examines 16 pre-Hispanic Andean textiles at the LSU Museum of Art that were part of a larger donation received in the mid-1990s. The entire collection consists of nearly 60 objects, with more than half being pre-Hispanic in origin. Beyond the textiles themselves, the collection includes weaving implements as well. All of these items are thought to have come from Peru, but outside this geographic pointer, little information accompanies the collection. Thus, the catalog entries are overwhelmingly sparse.

Therefore, I take an object biography approach to consider the hands involved in their creation. I aim to go beyond stylistic classification to consider the ways in which styles are fluid, as Andean weavers were particularly adept at incorporating various influences into their work. Despite their fluidity in some facets, others were particularly rigid, which revealed much about location and time. It is through “listening” to the threads that I am able to learn not just about the hands that created the textiles but about the hands that collected them as well. More broadly, I use the textile collection as a springboard to investigate the historical intricacies of acts of collecting, the current challenges in studying museum collections, and the role archaeology can play in studying collections.



Committee Chair

Chicoine, David

Available for download on Thursday, April 01, 2027