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Panel or tunic with corn plants
Place of Origin: Possibly Chimu culture, Ica Valley, south coast of Peru (?)
Date: Late Intermediate Period, 1150–1450 CE
Materials Used: Cotton warp, cotton and camelid hair weft; tapestry weave
Dimensions: 95 x 114 cm
Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Neutrogena Corporation. X94.27.6
Six four-selvaged panels are stitched together.
Corn, or maize (Zea mays), has been found in archaeological contexts for thousands of years, and it was fundamental to sustaining Andean civilization. It was also used to make beer, an essential component of all ritual celebrations held to insure the fertility of seeds and crops for harvest. This cloth, composed of siz separately woven panels bearing images of corn plants was likely used during such ritual celebrations.
Source: Elena Phipps, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth. Ancient Threads / New Directions. Fowler Museum Textile Series, No. 12, Los Angeles, 2013