Fish-Shaped Applique

Fish-Shaped Applique

1400-1532

Cotton and camelid fiber, tapestry weave with areas of eccentric weft floats

Average: 25.4 x 55.3 cm (10 x 21 3/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1933.392

Description

This fish-shaped textile, a complete weaving with 33 finished edges, was stitched with others like it to a mantle, a shawl-like garment that was a staple of ancient Andean wardrobe. The partial “x-ray view,” which emphasizes the bony white teeth and spine, is unique to the style of the Ychsma (yeach-mah), who lived on Peru’s central coast. Marine imagery may relate to both subsistence and religious concerns—at least some coastal people of the period conceived of the sea as a deity.

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