Pre-Columbian, central highlands of Peru, Inca culture, ca. 1350 to 1500 CE. A huge woven camelid fiber tunic with a bold linear pattern. It has a small raised woven collar at is center and opening for the neck. Narrow bands of red, deep brown, and pale ocher yellow are separated by even thinner bands of deep turquoise, with the cool color of the latter providing an excellent offset to the warmer colors of the rest. Inca tunics, "unku" in Quechua, are masterworks of weaving, made by skilled artisans using looms as wide as the tunics themselves. Tunics were attire for elite men, and their ownership was restricted by the rigidly hierarchical Inca state. Many were given as gifts by the emperor to reward military service or some other form of loyalty. This is a rare, complete, well preserved example! This is mounted on a wooden frame with a cloth backing; size given is that of the total frame (with the tunic generally touching the edges). Size: 88.25" W x 43.85" H (224.2 cm x 111.4 cm)
Provenance: private Tucson, Arizona, USA collection, acquired between 1950 and 1985
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Wear on surface commensurate with age, including areas of fraying and thinning as shown. Light staining also as shown. The colors are slightly faded but overall still vibrant.