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The Fabricated World

Costume

Tunic fragments Zoomify
Tunic fragments
Tunic fragments
Tunic fragments

People wear clothes for reasons such as warmth and protection, to cover their nakedness and to enhance their appearance. Clothes signify our most essential attributes: male or female, rich or poor, member (or not) of a cultural group. Like music and dance, dress communicates cultural meanings, which are encoded not only through embroidery and other embellishments, but also by the way the cloth is cut and shaped.

About the Object

Object name: Tunic fragments
Place made: Peru
People: Lambeyeque
Date made: 800-1300
Dimensions: L 48 cm x W 45 cm
Materials & Techniques: Camelid hair and cotton, slit tapestry-woven
Credit line: Textile Museum of Canada purchase
ID: T97X0007a

Object name: Tunic fragments
Place made: Peru
People: Lambeyeque
Date made: 800-1300
Dimensions: 39 cm x 23.5 cm
Materials & Techniques: Camelid hair and cotton, slit tapestry-woven
Credit line: Textile Museum of Canada purchase
ID: T97X0007b

Object name: Tunic fragments
Place made: Peru
People: Lambeyeque
Date made: 800-1300
Dimensions: 40 cm x 24 cm
Materials & Techniques: Camelid hair and cotton, slit tapestry-woven
Credit line: Textile Museum of Canada purchase
ID: T97X0007c

Object name: Tunic fragments
Place made: Peru
People: Lambeyeque
Date made: 800-1300
Dimensions: 7 x 17 cm
Materials & Techniques: Camelid hair and cotton, slit tapestry-woven
Credit line: Textile Museum of Canada purchase
ID: T97X0007d

These fragments were once part of an Andean tunic woven in the Lambayeque style of Peru's northern coast. A series of figures is portrayed on the tunic, each wearing a classic Lambayeque feathered crescent headdress and seated on an altar or platform. The faces are shown in profile with prominent eyes and teeth.

Alternative Views

Oblique

Oblique

Oblique

Oblique

Oblique

Oblique

Oblique

Oblique

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Second Look

Macro

Macro

Macro

Macro

Macro

Macro

Macro

Macro

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Touchpoint View

Animation

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Audio Clip

The Lambayeque people

Listen to TMC curator Roxane Shaughnessy talk about the Lambayeque people.

Credit: Audio Produced by TMC

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Related Image

Peruvian woman working on a textile

The Lambayeque people

Image title: Peruvian woman working on a textile
Credit: Image Courtesy of Amy Kilzer

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Transcript

When I first saw this textile, I was struck by the imagery, the strange distorted figures and the boat. The boat is one of the clues that tells us that this piece was woven during the Lambayeque period on the far north coast of Peru sometime between 800 – 1300 AD. The Lambayeque people were sea faring traders, who ventured up and down the Peruvian coast and traded in emeralds, feathers, minerals, and the prized spondylus shells. The Lambayeque culture is somewhat mysterious, it is not well known or widely published. What is known is that they created elaborate textiles of the highest quality.
The tradition of textile production in ancient Peru is one of the most remarkable achievements both artistically and technologically of the ancient world. Textile systems developed over the millennia in Peru and represent a treasury of techniques and dye methods that were used to create cloth of astounding beauty. Cultures such as the Lambayeque and others expressed their artistry, belief, and worldview through the creation of elaborate textiles. This piece has survived because it was preserved in the dry desert sands of the coast of Peru, and has a story to tell us of the ancient Americans who occupied this area hundreds of years ago.

Image

The tunic style

Tunics are among the simplest and most ancient garments. Examples exist from both the Old and New World. Tunics feature very little to no shaping except for an opening in the centre for the neck, which is often woven into the cloth rather than cut. The tunic shape is ideal to produce using a backstrap loom, since two separate loom lengths can be joined together and an unsewn slit can be left open for the head. These fragments, with their iconographic imagery woven in laborious tapestry, are from a tunic meant for a member of the elite – perhaps even for royalty.

The tunic

The tunic style

Image title: The tunic

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Video

Backstrap weaving

Watch how backstrap weaving is done in Peru.

Credit: Video Produced by Textile Museum of Canada

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Collection Connections

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Fragments

Fragments

ID*: T83.0242

Mantle panel fragment

Mantle panel fragment

ID*: T2005.17.7

Loin cloth fragment

Loin cloth fragment

ID*: T85.0518