Border fragment

Peruvian (Paracas)
Early Intermediate Period
0–A.D. 200

Object Place: Peru, Paracas, South Coast


34.5 x 6.5 cm (13 9/16 x 2 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wool plain weave with stem-stitch embroidery

Not On View


Americas, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Ground: golden brown woolen cloth, almost entirely covered with embroidery. Design: highly conventionalized bodiless human figures holding trophy heads aloft worked solidly with wool. The background is embroidered in sections with stepped diagonal edges, olive green, pink, reddish violet, and neutral yellow. The colors in the figures are dark bluish violet, crimson, pink, brown, yellow, green and blue.


October, 1915, sold by Enrique Mestanza, Pisco, Peru, to Julio C. Tello, Francisco Graña Reyes, and Gonzalo Carbajal, Lima [see note 1]; 1915/1916, sold by Julio Tello to Denman Waldo Ross (b. 1853 - d. 1935), Cambridge, MA [see note 2]; 1916, gift of Denman Waldo Ross to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 3, 1916)

[1] On the sale of the Mestanza collection, see Anne Paul, ed., Paracas: Art and Architecture (Iowa City, 1991), pp. 36-38 and Richard Daggett, A Tello-Centric History of Peruvian Archaeology part 2, pp. 360, 386-387. [2] Ross purchased a number of textiles and fragments from Tello (probably acting for Carbajal) between December 27, 1915 and January 8, 1916. When they were accessioned by the MFA (accession nos. 16.30-16.42), they were mistakenly believed to have been found by Tello himself "[in a cemetery] three or four miles south of Pisco."

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection