Chimu Textile Fragment, Central Coast of Peru, circa 1400, 2' 2" x 5"

A Chimu culture textile that may have been part of a tunic(?), with a compelling Escher like depiction of birds. Woven in a weft float brocade style, this substantial fragment is quite lovely. The diagonal swaths of color with birds moving in either direction are fascinating. The condition is rather good, with no holes at all in the body of the weaving and the colors are vivid, obviously all 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.

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