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Fragment from the Shoulder of a Tunic (Uncu)

A work made of cotton and wool (camelid), single interlocking tapestry weave with eccentric wefts.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of cotton and wool (camelid), single interlocking tapestry weave with eccentric wefts.

Date:

A.D. 1532/1700

Artist:

Inca-Colonial
Probably Cuzco or Lake Titicaca region, southern highlands, Peru

About this artwork

This textile was cut from the shoulder area of an Inca or Indigenous man’s tunic, called an uncu in Quechua. The maker wove the cantuta flowers in opposite directions so they would remain upright when the garment was worn. The cascades of rectangles that define the yoke were invented during the Spanish Colonial period, possibly reinventing a style from an earlier regional culture that had been conquered by the Incas. The faint line within the red threads is a diagonal break that reveals the cloth was woven in sections—a time-saving approach used after the Inca Empire’s strict rules for creating textiles waned.

This tunic waistband fragment in our collection was also part of the same garment. A third piece of the same tunic is in the collection of The Textile Museum in Washington, DC (91.8).

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Textiles

Culture

Inca

Title

Fragment from the Shoulder of a Tunic (Uncu)

Place

Peru (Object made in)

Date

Made 1532–1700

Medium

Cotton and wool (camelid), single interlocking tapestry weave with eccentric wefts

Dimensions

24.8 × 38.7 cm (9 3/4 × 15 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Bessie Bennett Endowment

Reference Number

1924.459

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/12829/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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