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Tunic or Unku

Arts of the Americas

The Inca considered textiles to be more valuable than gold and used them as symbols of power and authority. Rulers wore the finest tapestry-woven tunics, referred to as cumbi in the Quechua language. The geometric designs on this tunic, as well as the fineness of the weave, indicate an elite wearer. The unusual alpaca-hair fringe was likely added later, perhaps during the colonial period (1532–1821).

Los incas consideraban que los textiles eran más valiosos que el oro y los usaban como símbolos de poder y autoridad. Los gobernantes llevaban las más exquisitas túnicas en técnica del tapiz, llamadas cumbi en la lengua quechua. Los diseños geométricos de esta túnica, así como la finura del tejido, indican que se trata de una prenda para la élite. El inusual flequillo de pelo de alpaca fue probablemente añadido posteriormente, acaso durante la época colonial (1532–1821).
MEDIUM Camelid fiber, vincuna fringe
DATES 1400-1532
PERIOD Middle Horizon Period
DIMENSIONS 35 7/16 x 31 1/8 in. (90 x 79 cm)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1941, Frank L. Babbott Fund
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