The Textile Museum Journal: Early Nasca Textile as a 365-Day Calendar

Textile with repeating pattern of stylized faces in the middle with top and bottom bands showing richly colored figures
Mantle (the Brooklyn Museum Textile) (detail), Nazca, 100-300. Brooklyn Museum, John Thomas Underwood Memorial Fund 38.121. Photo by Justin Kerr.


As a part of our online interview series for The Textile Museum Journal, contributing scholar Lois Martin will discuss her studies of an exquisite 2,000-year-old early Nasca textile known as the “Brooklyn Museum Textile.” Completely reversible, the textile has a sheer central cloth decorated with warp-wrapped designs and framed by an elaborate, three-dimensional border executed in cross-knit looping. Ninety-two tiny costumed figures parade along the border, marching in four single-file lines. Many believe the Brooklyn Museum Textile may represent approximately one quarter of a year; Martin suggests it could be a 365-day calendar.

About The Textile Museum Journal

Our peer-reviewed journal is the leading publication for the exchange of textile scholarship in North America. Published each fall, it features research on the cultural, technical, historical and aesthetic significance of textiles from all around the world. Learn more about the journal

About Lois Martin

Lois Martin teaches studio classes in the Visual Arts Department at Fordham University, and pre-Columbian art history at City College (CUNY). From 1986 to 1992, she worked at the Brooklyn Museum with their collection of pre-Columbian textiles, focusing on the Brooklyn Museum Textile. Martin has published archaeological illustrations and articles on ancient and contemporary arts, especially fiber arts. She regularly presents at scholarly conferences, including the College Art Association and the Society for American Archaeology. She also holds a M.F.A. from Brooklyn College and a M.A. in pre-Columbian art history from Columbia University.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (12 p.m. EST / 9 a.m. PST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

About the Series

In this virtual series, authors who contributed to volume 49 of The Textile Museum Journal discuss new research on mathematics and textiles with guest editor Jeffrey C. Splitstoser. Browse all interviews