Object Name: Panel with crowned figures bearing staffs
Culture: Chancay or Rimac
Place of Origin: Peru, central coast
Date/Era: Late Intermediate Period, 1150 – 1450 C.E.
Medium/Materials: Natural brown cotton, warp (S-spun, Z-plied); dyed camelid hair, weft (Z-spun, S-plied); tapestry weave with slit joins and eccentric weft
Dimensions: 77 x 74 cm
Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.
Accession Number: X65.8730
All four selvage are preserved; there are unwoven warp ends at the top.
Wearing a double-pointed crown and large earplugs, a sign of high status, the somewhat abstracted and eccentric figures bear royal staffs. They may represent kings or composite three-fingered, three-toed mythical creatures. This lively panel appears unfinished at the top, with a section of unwoven warps; perhaps it was needed for a royal burial, and there was insufficient time to complete it. The cochineal red background was a color favored in the region, and the natural brown-colored warps, along with their spin direction (S-spun, Z-plied) was more typical of the northern coastal part of the empire of the Chimu.
Source: Elena Phipps, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth. Ancient Threads/New Directions, Fowler Museum Textile Series, No. 12, Los Angeles, 2013.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.