Cap with human-hair braids

Peruvian (South Coast, Middle Horizon)
about A.D. 400–800

Object Place: Middle Horizion, South Coast, Peru


Height x width: 97 x 60.5 cm (38 3/16 x 23 13/16 in. )

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Camelid fiber, human hair, plant material; looping, oblique interlacing, wrapping

On View

Ancient South America Gallery (Gallery LG33)


Americas, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Cap with human-hair braids. A wig-like headgear consisting of a cap of natural brown camelid yarn worked in looping, from which falls a series of long human-hair braids (oblique interlacing), the lower 10 inches of which are wrapped with dyed camelid yarns to form a pattern of stepped triangles. Uncut loops of red camelid-fiber yarn secured in the end of each braid form a fringe along the lower edge of the “wig.” At the point where the first and last braid join the cap edge are the remains of chin ties. Yellow yarn twining the braids in sequence, the 1 1/4 inch band of red along the top of the patterned area, and small sections of the wrapping appear to be recent repairs/additions. Camelid fiber, human hair, plant material; looping, oblique interlacing, wrapping.

Credit Line

Morris and Louise Rosenthal Fund, John Wheelock Elliot and John Morse Elliot Fund, Seth K. Sweetser Fund, Samuel Putnam Avery Fund, Arthur Mason Knapp Fund, Mary L. Smith Fund, and Susan Cornelia Warren Fund