Title: Textile

Date: ca. 1100 – 1400
Culture: Chancay (Peru)
Material: Camelid wools, cotton
Size: 17” W x 60” L
Credit: Anonymous Gift
On View: Yes

The Chancay culture was located on the central desert coast of Peru and was eventually absorbed into the Inka (Inca) Empire at the beginning of the fifteenth century. The Chancay were expert weavers who used a wide range of fibers.

In some instances, their textiles were decorated with complex, painted designs. Others, like this one, were created during the weaving process. The meandering line on this textile represents a series of feline heads with gaping mouths. A bird rests inside each cat’s mouth. 

Feline motifs were a common part of ancient Peruvian art. Anthropologists believe they represented some sort of supernatural being that was associated with nobility and other ceremonial leaders.

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