Arts of the Americas
Cotton, camelid fiber
Middle Horizon Period
This item is not on view
Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
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Wari. Tunic, 600-1000. Cotton, camelid fiber, 39 x 43 11/16 in. (99 x 111 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.224.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.86.224.1_view03.jpg)
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A tapestry tunic (shirt) with neck and arm openings. Decoration consists of two patterned, broad vertical bands alternating with three plain red vertical bands. Two patterned, very narrow bands are at the left and right sides of the tunic. The decorated bands contain vertical repeats of a winged, staff-bearing figure in profile. Each is distorted in a manner characteristic of Wari style tunics. The portions of the figure closest to the central seam (here, the staff and hand) are expanded beyond their normal proportions, and those toward the side seams (here, the wing) are condensed and compressed. The figure has clawed feet parallel to the tunic's bottom edge. The head is cast upward with a toothed, rectangular mouth at the top of each design unit. Each head is also surrounded with a U-shaped element from which appendages, some tipped with animal heads, emerge. Its eye is diamond-shaped, divided into bicolored parts, and surrounded by an elaborate decorative treatment that includes a bird's head. The abbreviated wing of the figure is parallel to the sides of the tunic and is edged with stylized animal heads. Designs found at the outermost edge of the two major decorative bands are repeated on the narrow side bands. The ground of the decorated bands is khaki-brown, while the figures are golden-beige, red, pink (faded), blue, white, and black.
Condition: Heavily damaged along lower edge. Stained and discolored in various areas (particularly visible in red stripes).
Size: adult. Probable wearer: male. Horizontal cotton warp. Camelid fiber weft. Tapestry weave with interlocked discontinuous weft (reversible).
Unku. Reverse side out. Design: animal head angel with fret band around head. Magenta plain bands.
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