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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Loincloth composed of a length of brown fabric with yellow, light brown, dark brown and red ends woven with a geometric pattern. A length of narrow brown fabric with similar borders is sewn across the end of the rectangle with the deeper, decorated border and it extends as long ties in both directions. The main design in the borders is a repetition of double headed serpents in yellow brocade with accents of red and dark yellow. A series of weft-faced stripes in yellows and reds, including a stripe of interlocking hook motifs is symmetrically arranged on either side. The bottom edges of the borders each have a fringe. S-spun single cotton yarns and z-spun, two-plied s camelid (alpaca ?) yarns.

History Of Use

The size of this loincloth relates to the proportions of a mummy bundle, not a human being. It may have been made as part of a matching set of garments specifically for burial. The colours and designs are frequently found on north and central coast fragments. The use of paired, single spun warps and the lack of finish on the underside are typical of Chimu weaving Rowe 1980).

Iconographic Meaning

The double-headed serpent is one of the oldest, most constantly used images in Peru. The interlocked hook design probably derived from images of intertwined serpent bodies. The serpent motif is closely allied to body covering, both the natural covering of fur, feathers and hair and manufactured fabrics.

Item History

  • Made in Peru between 1200 and 1476
  • Collected between 1949 and 1966
  • Owned by Anonymous before May 4, 1981
  • Received from Anonymous (Donor) on May 4, 1981

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