Cloth with Procession of Figures

170 BCE–70 CE (radiocarbon date, 95% probability)
Overall: 69.8 x 280.7 cm (27 1/2 x 110 1/2 in.); Mounted: 78.7 x 290.2 cm (31 x 114 1/4 in.)
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

Characteristics of the pampas cat and the emperor tamarin monkey are visible in the marching figures.


Experts agree that this cloth is one of the greatest paintings to survive from Andean antiquity due to the realism, complexity, large size, and refined execution of its figures. All but one of the figures wear the whiskered mouth mask of Nasca supernatural beings and several carry or wear severed human heads, which the Nasca linked to nature’s fruitfulness. Thus, the figures seem to represent supernatural forces or humans personifying such forces during a ritual devoted to agricultural fertility. Originally, the panel was attached along its upper edge to a dark blue cloth of equal size. The complete textile may have served as a mantle (a shawl-like garment), a hanging, or a funerary offering.
Cloth with Procession of Figures

Cloth with Procession of Figures

170 BCE–70 CE (radiocarbon date, 95% probability)

Central Andes, South Coast, Nasca people

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.