Nose ornament

900–1440 CE
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General Description

Prestige was conveyed not only through finely woven textiles, such as tunics, mantles, and headdresses, but also through facial and bodily ornaments. In particular, ear ornaments were common status markers in the Andes for over 3,000 years. By the Late Horizon (1400-1532 CE), golden ear ornaments were worn exclusively by the Inca under their imperial control.

In addition to ear ornaments, nose ornaments were popular from at least the Early Horizon (900-200 BCE), varying in size and elaboration throughout Andean culture history. This simple crescent nose ornament is a typical example of these common nose adornments.

Adapted from

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Inca: Conquests of the Andes / Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes, Label text [1983.W.991; 1983.W.992; 1976.W.997; 1976.W.1000.a–b], 2015.