Poncho, cotton / wool, maker unknown, Central America, 1953-2001
The poncho, which originated in Peru, is a garment worn by both men and women made from a large piece of fabric, normally woven wool, with a hole in the centre for the head and an opening on either side for the arms. They are hand-dyed, normally in bright colours, and embroidered with symbolic motifs of mythical creatures, animals, flowers and geometric patterns.
This particular poncho forms part of an extensive collection of textiles, dress and handiwork assembled from 1953 to 2001 by Mrs Helen McLeod Crocker, traveller and collector. Almost thirty countries are represented in the collection including Afghanistan, Australia, Bali, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Central Asia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Kenya, Lao, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Salvador, Somalia, South America, Syria, Thailand, The Ivory Coast, Turkey and Yemen. Helen was very selective in the objects she acquired and the inspiration for her collection originated from her desire to preserve the true essence of the societies she encountered.
This poncho was made in Central America, by an unknown maker, between 1953-2001.
This poncho has been made on a loom from traditional hand-dyed wool using natural vegetable dyes.