Vintage Peruvian Tapestry by “Arpillera”, Origin: Peru, Circa: Mid-20th Century – Here is a beautiful and unique vintage tapestry – a Peruvian tapestry rug with a fascinating history. Arpilleras, of which this piece is an excellent example, were woven by women of Lima, Peru to provide supplementary income for their families. Traditionally, these arpilleras depict the everyday activities of their weavers – that is, the working class women of Lima. In this particular example, we see a wide array of women at work performing various activities. There are women tending to animals, gathering fruits and berries, harvesting crops and performing the general chores and responsibilities that they would actually perform on a daily basis. Intriguingly arpilleras were first woven in Chile – in this case, by female political prisoners of the Pinochet dictatorship. Because female prisoners were allowed to sew during their incarceration, some of them would weave messages into these arpilleras, which the guards would not check, perceiving sewing as inconsequential “women’s work.” In this way, Pinochet’s female prisoners were able to remain connected to their outside networks, continuing the fight against his autocratic rule. Fascinating compositions with a unique history, arpilleras such as this piece are intriguing works of art.