This tapestry-weave panel is embellished with the image of three warriors holding trophy heads. Each large figure is framed by rows of smaller human figures that may represent war captives. The three large figures wear the typical Chimú-style crescent-shaped headdress that, in other contexts, indicates supernatural status. Yet it seems that this crescent-shaped headdress is derived from the helmet worn by rulers and warriors among the earlier Moche people of the North Coast, suggesting that the helmet form had multiple functions and meanings.
This panel has been cut from a larger garment, perhaps the tie end of a loincloth, the typical pre-Columbian male garment. It was worn by tying the cords around the waist from front to back, pulling the long fabric between the legs to the back and lifting the free end up under the ties to hang loose at the wearer’s back. This free-hanging panel often was woven as an elaborate tapestry, usually with smaller matching panels at the ends of the tie cords.
tags: fashion, repetition, pattern, textile
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hanes