Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>650 Wari noble
Subject: noble
Culture: Wari
Setting: Wari empire, Andes ca.600-900
Object: costume

* Dallas Museum of Art
"Tunic with profile heads and stepped frets  Peru: probably south coast, Huari (Wari) culture  c. A.D. 650-800 (Middle Horizon)
Cotton (warp) and camelid fiber (weft); interlocked tapestry weave .. 
The design scheme of this tunic, which pairs a stylized profile head and a stepped fret, is the most classic one for Huari tapestry tunics.  To read the design, look at one of the patterned bands between two vertical red stripes.  White lines form a compositional grid and outline the two parts of the design.  Look for two rectangular blocks, side by side.  A diagonal white line divides each block into two triangular sections.  One triangle features a profile head.  A white N represents the mouth.  The eye with its pendant tear looks rather like a modern magnifying glass.  The other triangle contains a stepped fret or spiral.  The basic design block is repeated throughout the textile, but with inversions, reversals, and color substitutions that add variety and complexity.
    "The quality of the weaving and decoration suggests that the tunics were worn by men of high rank or elite status on special occasions, yet most show signs of wear consistent with everyday use.  The tunics functioned ultimately as burial goods, sometimes as the outer covering for mummy bundles."