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General Description

This impressive tunic is an unusually long example from the north coast of Peru. The vertical stripes are composed of cream and gray-blue cotton, woven in double cloth and floating warps. The latter create the color alternation across the stripes and through the incorporated designs. Small brocaded birds enhance this patterned layout, which is differentiated across the two halves of the tunic.

Along the shoulders and base, there are decorative bands of dyed camelid fiber. The decorative panels vary slightly; however, each generally boasts a row of frontal figures with crested headdresses. The headdresses are composed of a triangular cap with two feathered extensions that angle down to either side. This cap shape suggests a pre-Inca Chimú context, while the crested headdress figures render prestige to this long tunic.

Adapted from

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Inca: Conquests of the Andes / Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes, Label text, 2015.

Fun Facts

  • In his 1976 report, Junius B. Bird, curator emeritus of South American archaeology at the American Museum of Natural History, notes: "Period Uncertain. **1344 Transposed warp pattern in field, borders with wool, technically interesting as an example of a system used in the 3rd millennium B.C.E. on the Peruvian coast in twined fabrics."