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Tunic or Unku

Arts of the Americas

The Inca considered textiles more valuable than precious metals or gems. Textiles were symbols of power; clothing styles and designs identified a wearer’s social status. Rulers wore the finest tapestry-weave garments, called cumbi, such as the tunic displayed here. The unusual vicuña fringe on this tunic may have been added later.

In order to guarantee a supply of fine textiles, the Inca expanded herding and textile production into a state policy, setting up weaving workshops and collecting labor taxes in the form of woven garments.
CULTURE Inca
MEDIUM Camelid fiber, vincuna fringe
DATES 1400-1532
PERIOD Middle Horizon Period
DIMENSIONS 35 7/16 x 31 1/8 in. (90 x 79 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 41.1275.106
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1941, Frank L. Babbott Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Inca. Tunic or Unku, 1400-1532. Camelid fiber, vincuna fringe, 35 7/16 x 31 1/8 in. (90 x 79 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1941, Frank L. Babbott Fund, 41.1275.106. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.41.1275.106.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.41.1275.106.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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Inca. <em>Tunic or Unku</em>, 1400-1532. Camelid fiber, vincuna fringe, 35 7/16 x 31 1/8 in. (90 x 79 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1941, Frank L. Babbott Fund, 41.1275.106. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.41.1275.106.jpg)