100 BC-AD 200
Cotton and pigment (field); camelid fiber (borders and fringe)
Overall: 69.8 x 280.7 cm (27 1/2 x 110 1/2 in.); Mounted: 81.3 x 6.4 cm (32 x 2 1/2 in.)
The Norweb Collection 1940.530
Characteristics of the pampas cat and the emperor tamarin monkey are visible in the marching figures.
This Nasca cloth is among the most famous surviving Andean textiles and one of the museum's great treasures. On it is painted a procession of figures interpreted as deities or humans impersonating deities. The procession's purpose is not clear, but its sacrificial overtones are. At the far left, a figure touches a human head with its tongue, and severed heads tip the streamers that flow from several other figures. In Nasca art, severed heads seem to symbolize the life force used to promote nature's fertility. Procession, apparently a part of Nasca ceremonial life, perhaps had the same goal. For instance, we suspect that the Nasca lines—huge ground drawings of lines, geometric forms, and animals—were walked by processions during water rites, because the lines are like paths and often relate to nearby rivers. Several of the figures wear feline mouth masks. One figure wears outspread wings, others a tunic (shirt) and either a triangular loincloth or a skirt, all items of male costume. The function of the cloth, a fragment that is incomplete along the upper edge, is unclear.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.