Ceremonial textile fragment
Chavin culture, likely Carhua, Ica Valley, south coast of Peru
Early Horizon, circa 500-300 BCE
Cotton warp and weft; plain weave painted with tannin dyes and earth pigments
65 x 63 cm
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas, Jr. X86.2929
Source: Elena Phipps, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth. Ancient Threads / New Directions. Fowler Museum Textile Series, No. 12, Los Angeles, 2013
Remnants of the warp and weft selvages are preserved.
The staff-bearing, cross-fanged standing deity figures (see detail photograph), wearing double-headed snaked headdresses and belts, derive from the religious iconography and style carved into the stone monuments of the powerful ceremonial site of Chavin de Huántar in the mountain area of northern Peru. Found thousands of kilometers away, this cloth provides evidence of its own history. Its design is from the north highlands; its technical details, including the telltale spin direction of the single plied yarns may be from the central coast; while it was found buried in the south.