Tunic Fragment(?), Chimu Culture of Peru, 16th Century, 16.5” x 21”

A fascinating design featured on this fragment of what might have been a much larger tunic from the Chimu culture of Peru. The design consists of various birds and beasts, possibly fish as well. The condition is ok, there is some wear (see detail image), all the colors are derived from natural dyes.

The Chimú were the residents of Chimor, with its capital at the city of Chan Chan, a large adobe city in the Moche Valley of present-day Trujillo city. The culture arose about 900 AD. The Inca ruler Tupac Inca Yupanqui led a campaign which conquered the Chimú around 1470 AD This was just fifty years before the arrival of the Spanish in the region. Consequently, Spanish chroniclers were able to record accounts of Chimú culture from individuals who had lived before the Inca conquest.

For further information on this piece, you may contact Thomas Cole