Chilean (Mapuche culture)

Object Place: Chile


142 x 140 cm (55 7/8 x 55 1/8 in.); Legacy dimension: 142.0 x 140.0 cm

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wool warp-faced plain weave with complementary warp patterning

Not On View


Americas, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Mapuche chief’s poncho possibly of niminmaku type, i.e. woven with complementary warp-patterning here seen in five patterned bands that alternate with bands of warp-faced plain weave: a central band in a stepped-cross pattern with bird motifs at the neck opening; inner flanking bands in a checkerboard pattern; and outer backs of stepped chevrons with central crosses. Long fringe at both ends. Woven using overspun yarns of dark blue and undyed sheep’s wool. Said to have belonged to Saturnino Epulef, the cacique or chief of Villarica and signatory to the 1882 peace treaty with the Chilean government that marked the end of 350 years of war.


Purchased from Andres Moraga by the MFA, 1995

Credit Line

Frank B. Bemis Fund