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Image of Nasca-Huari Tye-Dyed Tunic Fragment

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unknown Huari

unknown Nasca

Nasca-Huari Tye-Dyed Tunic Fragment

Nasca-Huari Transition Period
800 - 1300
Camelid fiber

13 x 4 5/16 x 1/16 in. (33 x 11 x 0.2 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2000.3.50.a
Geography: South America, Peru, Andes
Classification: Clothing and Adornments; Clothing; Outerwear
Culture/Nationality: Nasca-Hauri, Peruvian, South American
Collection: Ward M. Canaday Collection
Description: These tie-dyed elements were likely part of a tunic, representing a tradition that developed in the South Coast of Peru during the Huari culture. To create the patch-work effect of the cloth, undyed threads were woven in narrow strips, with each component formed through the use of discontinuous warps and wefts, held together by scaffolding yarn. The strips were then tied in the desired pattern with a material that would resist color before being dyed. The scaffolding yarns
would then be removed and the component pieces rearranged and joined. This technique was used extensively and many examples were well preserved. The pattern seen in these rectangles is common; the diagonal lines of small diamonds in each rectangle would combine with those in neighboring rectangles, forming larger diamonds and over-all patterns.

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • camelid hair - Material made from the hair of camelids, especially South American camelids such as llama and alpaca. For fiber made from camels, use "camel hair."
  • dyeing - Process of applying a coloring matter that is in a solution or fine dispersion so that at least some of the coloring matter is taken up by the substance.
  • geometric patterns
  • geometric shape - Shape characterized by regular shapes or patterns that are determined, constructed, or formed according to geometry.
  • green - Hue name for the color representing that portion of the spectrum that is intermediate between blue and yellow, with wavelengths between 520 and 570 nanometers. The term may refer to any of this group of colors that vary in lightness and saturation. An example of green color in nature is that of growing grass. It is a secondary pigment color (made by combining yellow and blue) and one of the three additive primary colors.
  • Huari - Andean style and culture of the central and northern highlands of the Middle Horizon (ca. 600-1000 CE); named after an archaeological site located in the central highland region of present-day Peru. The style is related to that of monuments at the great site of Tiwanaku, located on Lake Titicaca in northwestern Bolivia. Wari was probably the centre of a militaristic empire that dominated much of the Peruvian highlands and coast during the earlier part of the Middle Horizon. Its influences are seen especially in the Late Nazca (Ica) culture of the southern coast and at Pachacamac on the central coast. The most distinctive decorative motif on Huari pottery is the Doorway God, a stylized, anthropomorphic figure often represented in front view with a rectangular face and rayed headdress. This motif is also found at Tiwanaku. Wari architecture features large enclosures constructed of stone masonry. Monumental temple sculpture is naturalistic and depicts both male and female figures with elaborate hairstyles. "Wari" and "Huari" are often used interchangeably but usage of "Wari" has become more common in museum collections.
  • lozenges - Figures that are squares or rhombuses rotated to have their corners on the horizontal and vertical axes. Common as an isolated motif, in a diaper pattern, or in a running series.
  • Nasca
  • 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.
  • resist dyeing - Dyeing cloth by repeatedly putting a resist on different parts of its pattern and placing it in successive dye baths.
  • 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)."
  • tie-dyeing - A mode of dyeing in which the cloth is tied in different places, to prevent the parts from receiving the dye. It is done by hand create colored patterns in the fabric by gathering together many small portions of material and tying them tightly with string before immersing the cloth in the dyebath. The dye fails to penetrate the tied sections. After drying, the fabric is untied to reveal irregular circles, dots, stripes, or other shapes. Varicoloured patterns may be produced by repeated tying and dipping in additional colours. This hand method, common in India and Indonesia, has been adapted to machines.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 2000.3.50.a_BMC_cc.pdf
Additional Image 2000.3.50.a_BMC_r.jpg
Additional Image 2000.3.50.a_BMC_f.jpg
Additional Image 2000.3.50.a_BMC_f_2.jpg

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • Ann Pollard Rowe, Wari: Lords of the Ancient Andes (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 2012), 193-205.
  • "Archivo Digital de Arte Peruano." (Accessed November 18, 2019): Record No.: 1.1815.
  • "Museo Larco Online Catalogue." (Accessed June 3, 2020):, Figure Number:
  • "The Textile Museum Collection." (Accessed 6/3/2020): Accession No.: 91.341.
  • "Los Angeles County Museum of Art Online Collections." (Accessed May 14, 2020): Accession No.: M.75.50.1.
  • "The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at Harvard Online Collection." (Accessed May 18, 2020): Accession No.: 38-10-30/1712.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • "Museo Larco Online Catalogue." (Accessed June 3, 2020):
  • Ann Pollard Rowe, Wari: Lords of the Ancient Andes (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 2012), 193-205.
  • 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 Antropolog√≠a Chilena 29, no. 1 (1997): 109-131.
  • Jane W. Rehl, "The Order of Things in Ancient Peru Visual Metaphors in Wari-Associated DWW Textiles." Textile Society of America Symposium Proceedings 828 (2000): 9-20.
  • Penelope Dransart, Textiles, Technical Practice and Power in the Andes (London, England: Archetype Publications, 2013), 220-222.

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Nasca-Huari Tye-Dyed Tunic Fragment |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/8/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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