Skip to Content
Today Open today 11–5

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

Image actions

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




Colonial Inca
Inca or Indigenous
Viceroyalty of Peru, likely near Cuzco (now probably Peru, possibly Bolivia)

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).


Currently Off View






Fragment from the Shoulder of a Tunic (Uncu)


Peru (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1532–1700


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


24.8 × 38.7 cm (9 3/4 × 15 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Bessie Bennett Endowment

Reference Number


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.

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.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions