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Fragment (Peru), 800–1000

This is a Fragment. It is dated 800–1000 and we acquired it in 1962. Its medium is cotton warp, wool weft and its technique is tapestry woven, single interlock; subtle use of non-horizontal wefts. It is a part of the Textiles department.

This tunic reveals the extreme fineness and complexity of garments produced for the ruling elite of the Wari culture, which centered in the central highlands and extended the length of the Peruvian Andes. On close examination, one can begin to tease out individual stylized figures. These include the iconic image of a winged, kneeling, staff-holding figure that first appeared on a stone monument referred to as the Gateway to the Sun in the archaeological setting of Tiahuanaco, near the shore of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. The attendant to the Sun God, depicted in the center of this monument, is shown here with head upturned. Part human and part animal, its serrated teeth and round nostrils may be Cayman features.
Wari tunics were often woven in two panels and seamed down the middle and under the arms. In this fragment, almost a complete half tunic, we see two of four original decorative bands. The figures, which repeat within the bands, shift orientation at the shoulder-line of the garment, so that they would be seen in the upright position from the front or back.

  • Roundel (Egypt)
  • warp: undyed s-spun wool; wefts: s-spun red wool; s-spun white linen; s-spun....
  • 1902-1-71

Its dimensions are

H x W: 76.2 x 53 cm (30 x 20 7/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Fragment (Peru), 800–1000; cotton warp, wool weft; H x W: 76.2 x 53 cm (30 x 20 7/8 in.); 1962-1-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Fragment (Peru), 800–1000 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=14 December 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>