Female Effigy Fiber Sculpture



Female Effigy Fiber Sculpture


Fiber Sculpture


ca.1000-1470 AD


Late Intermediate Period
South America, Central Andes, Central Coast


Reed, cotton, camelid fiber, unidentifed hair
Overall: 12 1/16 x 5 5/8 in. (30.6 x 14.3 cm)

Object Number



This tiny fiber portrait of a woman is about 1,000 years old and comes from a Chancay [chahn kai] tomb on the central coast of modern-day Peru. The body is constructed of reed bundles wrapped in thread; under the skirt the legs and individual toes are wrapped. She wears a human hair wig. The face, tied on like a mask, is woven in slit tapestry with a raised embroidered nose. The geometric pattern across the eyes likely represents the deceased's facial tattooing (one preserved Chancay woman's body retains her arm tattoos). The sculpture's diminutive blouse, belt, and skirt are all woven in techniques found in full-size garments. Combining many techniques is typical of the Chancay aesthetic (woven samplers that demonstrate the deceased weaver's artistic versatility are also found in Chancay women's tombs). This miniature fiber portrait likewise presents its maker's creativity.

Credit Line

Ex coll. C. Clay and Virginia Aldridge


MCCM Newsletter, September - November 2002.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2014.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Female Effigy Fiber Sculpture,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 18, 2020, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/8045.

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