Record

Woven textile with crab and bird design, from grave in cemetery

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at Ancon, Peru

Postcard of Woven textile with crab and bird design, from grave in cemetery.
000-180-000-758-C
© National Museums Scotland

Woven textile with crab and bird design, from grave in cemetery

This fringed cloth, made of finely woven wool, was among the garments worn by a 'mummy bundle' burial in the huge cemetery at Ancon in Peru. The design and colour would have been symbolically important. Hot, dry conditions have preserved it.

Woven textile in red and cream wool, featuring a panel with crab motifs edged by a Greek key-like design. Below this, the fabric has been woven as thin strips to make a decorative fringe, with cat and angular motifs.

Before the Spanish conquered Peru, people buried their dead in underground graves. Bodies were placed inside 'mummy bundles', and propped upright to resemble living, sitting people. Grave goods reflected their gender and status.


Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-758-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1902.506
Date: 14th - 16th century
Between 1300 and 1534
Material: Red and yellow wool. Inscription: Crabs; wave scrolls; On tags: cat and conventionalised bird designs
Dimensions:
What: Garment / portion
Subject: Clothing and textiles
Who:
Where: South America, Ancient Peru, Ancon
Event:
Description: Portion of a tapestry woven garment with crabs set between wave scroll borders and cat and bird designs on the tags: Ancient Peru, found in agrave at Ancon, 14th - 16th century
References:
  • Kaulicke, P. Contextos Funerarios de Ancon. Lima: Universidad Catolica del Peru, 1997. 
  • Reiss, W. and Stuebel, A. . The Necropolis of Ancon in Peru. Berlin, 1880-1887. 
  • Sheridan, J A (ed). Heaven and Hell and Other Worlds of the Dead. Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland, 2000. 
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