Poncho or Tunic
Arts of the Americas
Early Intermediate Period, Phase 2
74 7/16 x 27 9/16 in. (189.1 x 70 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Alfred W. Jenkins Fund
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Nazca. Poncho or Tunic, 100-200 C.E. Camelid fiber, 74 7/16 x 27 9/16 in. (189.1 x 70 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred W. Jenkins Fund, 34.1579 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 34.1579_front.jpg)
overall, 34.1579_front.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"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.
Size: adult; probable wearer: male. Vertical camelid fiber warp and camelid fiber weft; camelid fiber embroidery. The ground cloth is a scarlet plain weave, warp and weft interlocked. Fourteen additional colors are used in the woven imagery. However, the black has deteriorated due to the use of an iron mordant. There are single interlock joins, and stem-stitch embroidery is used for the details of the eyes and some of the mouths. A dark purple fringe is attached at the shoulder area, possibly a later addition. A thread count carried out by Barbara Applebaum of the Brooklyn Museum Conservation Department notes that there are 12 warp and 15 weft yarns per cm.
Original description: Poncho with three large figures and ten smaller figures on a red background. The large figures, each one different, are shown wearing headdresses, masks, ponchos, a skirt and loincloths. They hold trophy heads, knives and arrows in their hands. The smaller figures are attached to the ends of serpent or ribbon-like extensions from the belts, headdresses, tails and mouths of the large figures.
Mary Frame has noted that this textile was made into a poncho in antiquity from part of a larger cloth. It may originally have been a banner or hanging or half-mantle with a minimum of four figures. The band around the neck, the fringe, and side trim were embroidered onto the textile after the weaving and are worked in a purplish color not found in the weaving. One scholar has suggested that the neck opening was added at some time after the textile was originally woven.
The neck aperture (24 cm) is small for a human head, unless the skull was radically elongated. Some "tunics" with small neck slits were slipped over the false head of a mummy bundle at Paracas Necropolis. Regarding the figure repetitions, a minimum of four figures [would have] repeated along the original length of cloth. The feet of the major figures face the same direction and the figures alternate in an up-down orientation.
The largest figure on 34.1579 wears a feline-pelt headdress and is associated with two mythological animals devouring humans: a bird man on the end of its chin appendage and a shark with a human arm. Each figure portrayed is different and alternatively colored, some wear mouth masks and all have head ornaments. A minor figure on the left side of the tunic is a fishy creature devouring a human, a mythological theme that is recreated on other embroideries.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.