Corner fragment of a textile with birds
Chancay culture (Caqui), central coast of Peru
Late Intermediate Period, 1150–1450 CE
Cotton warp (Z-spun, S-plied), camelid-hair weft (some single Z-spun, others Z-spun, S-plied), natural and dyed colors; tapestry with weft-float patterning (plain weave area has abeen cut away)
11 x 12 cm
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Leo Drimmer. X72.522.
Source: Elena Phipps, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth. Ancient Threads / New Directions. Fowler Museum Textile Series, No. 12, Los Angeles, 2013
The fragment has both side selvages and bottom selvage preserved. The stepped area has been cut, but the ends have been finished.
Birds are represented on textiles, ceramics, and architecture throughout the central coast. In this fragment of a stepped corner, they are woven in two methods: as small charming, individual long-beaked birds made in tapestry and as part of the stylized design fretwork underneath. The geometric-style patterning mimics the designs on brickwork and stucco friezes found on the walls of palaces of the coastal empires. This narrow fragment may have been part of a larger garment, and in that case, it likely had a companion corner, which would have had the same steps running in the opposite direction to create a mirror image. The red dye is cochineal.