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Object Name: Trapezoidal bag
Cultural Group / Place of Origin: Coastal Wari style, Nasca Valley (?), south coast of Peru
Date: Middle Horizon, circa 600 – 1000 CE
Materials Used: Cotton warp, camelid hair weft; weft-faced plain-weave with crossed-loop stitch embroidery
Dimensions: 21 x 8-9 cm
Credit line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X67.520.
All four selvages are preserved.
Woven in miniature, this bag was created in a trapezoidal shape. Coca bags with this special shape, both small and larger versions, are associated with the cultures of the far south coast of Peru and northern Chile, notable from the time of the Wari, who were best known for their fine tapestry-woven tunics. Like the tunics, this bag, with its finely woven weft-faced surface, was made with luxurious camelid hair yarns tightly packed together during weaving. Creating such small items of this quality is a difficult task, accomplished with fine needles, which were also used to embroider the elaborate edgings that complete the bag’s shape.
Source: Elena Phipps, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth. Ancient Threads / New Directions. Fowler Museum Textile Series, No. 12, Los Angeles, 2013