Ear Spool. 1000 - 1470 CE, feathers, adhesive, gourd, and leather, 4.13 x 4.76 x 4.76 cm. Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 1967-29-180

Featherwork textiles is an artform that has been produced by different cultures throughout history. They have been produced to highlight natural resources and mastery over weaving techniques. Wealth, beauty, and spirituality are some of the meanings featherworks carried. Andean cultures, featherworks were mostly used as decorative pieces and status symbols, denoting the high rank and wealth of its wearers.  

This StoryMap presents a selection of featherwork textiles from the Krannert Art Museum’s collection at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. We will explore their different weaving techniques, the cultural groups that made them, their significance, and more.


Created by Rebeca Zavala Escamilla with guidance from Allyson Purpura, Senior Curator and Curator of Global African Art at  Krannert Art Museum , and Kasia Szremski, Associate Director for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.