Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > Azapa


The Azapa communities were the first in the North of Chile to manufacture ceramics, though they produced only a little. They used cotton and camelid hair to weave blankets and bags decorated with linear designs. They also made lioncloths and headbands, which gave rise to the “turban wearer” tradition that characterized the groups living in Chile’s Norte Grande in those times. With plant fibers they manufactured mats, loincloths and baskets, which they decorated with stepped designs. The Azapa also engraved images of serpents on gourds and copper plates, crafted tubular ornaments out of bone and made wooden-bead necklaces. They also decorated the objects that they used to inhale hallucinogenic substances.