Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Four-cornered hat of Tiwanaku

The four-cornered hat is constructed from the crown, with a ring formed from the first series of knotted loops. The knots are continued in a spiral pattern, with additional knots added on the diagonals to achieve the square shape of the hat. To make the sides of the hat, more knots are added at different intervals, depending on the shape and type of hat design: The knots are added in a spiral pattern if the hat is a single color, or in sections if more than one color is being used. The lower edge of the hat is finished off with a final row of knots. The “points” on the top of the hat are made separately. The relief designs on monochrome and bichrome hats are achieved by combining “front” and “back” faces of the knot, according to the motif desired. In contrast, the designs on polychrome hats are made using up to nine different colors of yarn, with the knots always tied in the same direction and grouped by motifs or color fields.

Animation by: Carlos Silva