Chimu Tapestry Shirt
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This is a complete tapestry woven shirt with sleeves constructed of cotton warps and camelid wefts in red, brown, olive and white on an ochre ground. It depicts a mythical marine narrative with two pelicans carrying a litter bearing a trophy head in the form of a skate with a face.
Litters were considered a prestigious mode of transportation on the North coast. The presence of this image within the narrative reinforces the importance of the individual who wore this shirt. There is a pelican with a crescent headdress on top of each litter. Each of the four panels displays the same scene in reverse colors.
This shirt is illustrated in Rowe, Ann, "Costumes and Featherwork of the Lords of Chimor" published by The Textile Museum, 1984, fig 103.
Provenance: Formerly in the collection of the Southwest Museum in California.
Condition: Some exposed warps, professionally conserved at the Met.