250-year-old painted mantle discovered in Peruvian Amazon


Mantle was found hidden in trunk in church and dates back to the time of the colony. Specialists from the Regional Tourism Board of Amazonas have discovered a painted mantle of more than 250 years of age. The mantle, discovered packed in a trunk hidden in a church in Olleros, Chachapoyas

The mantle, which measures an impressive 6.8 by 3.65 meters, is covered in painted designs. Peru21 reports that the artwork includes Christian religious figures. According to RPP Noticias, the mantle is painted with scenes from Christ’s road to the cross, and was probably used to cover the church’s altar during Holy Week. However, as Peru21 notes, the mantle also features relatively prominent depictions of the sun and moon, which could be a subversive reference to indigenous divinities.

Manuel Cabañas López, head of the Amazonas Regional Tourism Board, told press that authorities are working to secure international funding for the restoration of the piece. Potentially, Peru21 reports, they’d like to display the mantle in a local museum once it has been properly restored.

Cabañas López also said that this kind of religious art is typical of the region, and comes from the era of Spanish colonization. The mantle is made of cotton.