170 BC-AD 70 (radiocarbon date, 95% probability)
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: 78.7 x 290.2 cm (31 x 114 1/4 in.)
The Norweb Collection 1940.530
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
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.