Tunic Fragment, Chimu Culture (Peru), 16th Century, 1’ 5” x 1’ 8”

A fascinating fragment of a tunic, with the decorated fringe depicting a row of marching birds woven in various colors. The field design appears to also include zoomorphic imagery, possibly frogs. The condition is good aside from the wear in the lower right corner (see detail images).

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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