Object Image

Votive Checkerboard Tunic

This small tapestry-woven tunic features a checkerboard pattern with a red V-shaped yoke. Although the design follows the conventions of full-sized garments thought to be associated with the Inca military, its scale suggests that it was destined to adorn a votive figure, a custom practiced in both Inca and colonial Spanish contexts. According to the Spanish chronicler Juan de Betanzos, the Inca dressed certain sacred statues, sometimes the size of a child, in finely woven garments. Miniature checkerboard tunics, smaller than the present example, have been found with small gold, silver, and shell figurines as part of capac hucha or “ritual obligation” offerings, a type of ritual practice designe ...
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Camelid fiber
52.4 x 41.9cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection