Elaborate costumes woven in an intricate slit tapestry technique were the formal dress of the nobility of the ancient Huari empire, worn at court and placed on the body for burial. The complex patterns on this tunic may look totally abstract, but they are based on stylized eyes and mouths full of fangs symbolizing powerful feline deities.
Artist Huari, Precolumbian
  • Tunic
Date between 800 and 1000
Medium cotton and wool
Dimensions Overall: 83 × 39 inches (210.8 × 99.1 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase with funds from Lee and Tina Hills
Accession Number 1986.25
Department Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas
Not On View
1986-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Bulletin of the DIA 62, no. 3 (1986): 15.