1400 - 1532 AD
21" x 32"
Textile, Cotton and Alpaca Wool
Pre-Columbian, Peru, Inca, ca. 1500 CE. A small tunic fragment woven by Inca artisans of ancient Peru, comprised of camelid fibers in hues of rust, ochre and brown. The design is an bold display of a geometric motif. This example is mounted on museum quality, brown linen.
For the Incas finely worked and intricately woven textiles came to represent both wealth and status. Fine textiles were actually used as both a tax and currency, and the finest textiles were the most prized of all possessions, even more precious than gold or silver. As a result, when the Spanish arrived in the early 16th century CE, it was textiles and not metal goods which were given in welcome to these visitors from another world."