Discontinuous Warp and Weft Tunic Fragment with Geometric Design
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Discontinuous Warp and Weft Tunic Fragment with Geometric DesignLate Horizon
1450 - 1534
19 11/16 x 12 13/16 x 1/16 in. (50 x 32.5 x 0.2 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2000.3.165
Geography: South America, Peru, Andes (Coast)
Classification: Unclassifiable Artifacts; Artifact Remnants; Cloth Fragments
Culture/Nationality: Provincial Inca
Collection: Ward M. Canaday Collection
Description: This Inca tunic is tightly woven from fine threads, with the minuscule joins of the discontinuous warps and wefts almost imperceptible. Excellence in textile production was deeply important in the Inca Empire, with textiles being among the highest valued commodities. The use of a simple palette of red and blue in this textile is representative of the greater Inca use of color in textiles. From early 16th century colonial documents we know that red and blue garments were part of a coming of age ceremony, displaying the ritualistic associations of colors in cloth.
Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keywordThis object has the following keywords:
clothing*, cotton*, geometric patterns, geometric shape*, Inca*, indigo*, Late Horizon*, Peruvian*, red*, repetition*, step pattern*, tapestry*, textiles*, tunics*, warp*, weft*
- clothing - Coverings for the torso, limbs, hands, feet, and head for warmth, fashion, or to cover nudity. It generally excludes other items of costume such as jewelry, crowns, and other accessories that are purely decorative or symbolic and have no practical function.
- cotton - Textile made from cotton fiber.
- geometric patterns
- geometric shape - Shape characterized by regular shapes or patterns that are determined, constructed, or formed according to geometry.
- Inca - Pre-Columbian culture of the Central Andean area of South America; the early Inca people are recognizable in the archaeological record of the Late Intermediate Period (ca. 1000-1476 CE), from the 12th century onwards. The Inca established their capital at Cuzco (Peru) in the 12th century. They began their conquests in the early 15th century and within 100 years had gained control of an Andean population of about 12,000,000 people. The The Inca empire flourished in the 15th century and early 16th century. At the time of the Spanish conquest in 1532, the Inca ruled an empire that extended along the Pacific coast and Andean highlands from the northern border of modern Ecuador to the Maule River in central Chile. Inca ceramics are readily recognizable from their forms and decoration; bronze metal tools and weapons were widespread, and there was a distinctive Inca architecture at various locations throughout the empire. For the culture and artifacts dating to the empire during the period 1476-1534 CE, use "Late Horizon."
- indigo - A natural dark blue colorant obtained from the tropical Indigofera tinctoria plants. The use of indigo was first mentioned in Indian manuscripts in the 4th century BCE; it was first exported to Europe in Roman times. The natural material is collected as a precipitate from a fermented solution of the plant, where the coloring component, indigotin, is extracted as a colorless glycoside that turns blue with oxidation. Indigo is a fine, intense powder which may be used directly as a pigment in oil, tempera, or watercolor media. Since the exposed pigment can fade rapidly in strong sunlight, it is rarely used in art or fine textiles today. However, it is still used to dye jeans, where its fading and uneven coloring have become favorable characteristics.
- Late Horizon - The seventh of the seven main chronological phases recognized in Andean archaeology, generally dating 1476-1534 CE, during which the Inca established an empire controlled from Cuzco, which eventually reached from central Chile to southern Colombia. The period ends in 1534, the year marking the fall of the Inca empire after the Spanish conquest.
- Peruvian - Of or belonging to the nation of Peru or its people.
- red - Hue name for one of the three primary additive colors; that portion of the spectrum lying at the lowest frequencies of light discernible by the human eye, with a wavelength range between 630 and 760 nanometers. The term may refer to any of this group of colors that vary in lightness and saturation. Examples of red color in nature are that of blood and ripe cherries.
- repetition - As an artistic concept, the characteristic within a composition where a form, line, color, or other compositional element is repeated to cause unity or for another purpose.
- step pattern - A pattern in which a series of small right angles produces a steplike edge, usually proceeding a few steps up and then down again.
- tapestry - Refers to the process used to create tapestries, which are heavy, woven textiles characterized by ornamental or pictorial designs and used as wall hangings, curtains, upholstery, or to hang from windows or balconies. The process is performed on a tapestry loom and differs from cloth-weaving in that the weft travels only to the warp at the edge of a particular color or pattern in the design, rather traveling from edge to edge of the entire piece of fabric. Various techniques are used in mixing and overlaying colors to create shading and patterns. Details of the design are often painted or embroidered.
- textiles - General term for carpets, fabrics, costume, or other works made of textile materials, which are natural or synthetic fibers created by weaving, felting, knotting, twining, or otherwise processing. For works of art or high craft that employ textile as a medium, prefer "textile art (visual works)."
- tunics - Simple slip-on garments made with or without sleeves and usually knee-length or longer and belted at the waist; especially those worn by men and women of ancient Greece and Rome. Also, garments extending from the neckline to the waist or longer, usually high-necked and worn over other garments.
- warp - In weaving, the threads that are extended lengthwise in the loom, usually twisted harder than the "weft," with which these threads are crossed to form the web or piece.
- weft - The aggregate of transverse strands of a textile, woven through the warp. Specifically for individual strands of weft, prefer "picks (weft)."
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Comparanda ListThe following Comparanda exist for this object:
- "Cooper Hewitt Online Collection ." (Accessed July 8, 2020): https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18569423/. Accession No.: 1948-122-1.
Related Bibliography ListThe following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
- Elena Phipps, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth (Los Angeles, CA: The Fowler Museum at UCLA, 2013), 58-63.
- Elena Phipps and Ann Peters. Pre-Columbian Textile Conference VII (Lincoln, NE: Zea Books, 2017), 171-173.
- William J. Conklin, "Structure as Meaning in Andean Textiles." Chungara: Revista de Antropología Chilena 29, no. 1 (1997): 109-131.
- Penelope Dransart, Textiles, Technical Practice and Power in the Andes (London, England: Archetype Publications, 2013), 220-222.
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