Moche-Wari peoples / Tunic / 7th-9th centuryMoche-Wari peoples
7th-9th century

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Creator Nationality: South American; Peruvian
Creator Name-CRT: Moche-Wari peoples
Title: Tunic
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 600
Creation End Date: 899
Creation Date: 7th-9th century
Object Type: Costume and Jewelry
Classification Term: Textiles
Materials and Techniques: Cotton, camelid hair
Dimensions: H. 34 1/4 in. (87 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1987.394.706
Credit Line: Bequest of Jane Costello Goldberg, from the collection of Arnold I. Goldberg, 1986

Throughout Peruvian prehistory, the tunic was the most elaborate garment worn by men. In addition to being important items of dress, tunics are significant for their technical variety and their great wealth of complex patterning.

This example is strikingly bold in color. The main pattern, worked in red, represents interconnected, geometricized animals, whose serrated backs form strong diagonals across the body of the shirt. A border at the lower edge of the tunic (and originally at the sleeve ends as well), repeats a much smaller profile figure at regular intervals. Its long upraised tail has monkey references, but its long snout suggests that it is a composite animal. Such changes of scale and stylization of imagery in the center and borders were common to textiles associated with the Huarmey Valley at this time. The variety was stimulated by external political and artistic forces as new influences were moving into the area.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1987.394.706
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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