Peruvian (Paracas)
Early Intermediate, Phase 2
A.D. 100–200

Object Place: Peru, Paracas, South Coast


92.7 x 246.2 cm (36 1/2 x 96 15/16 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. Design of elaborately conventionalized shark impersonators with fishlike headdresses, trophy heads, protruding tongues, etc, worked solidly in crewel stitch with wool. The colors are: dark and light blue, yellow, orange, crimson pink, green and white. The figures are arranged in horizontal bands, those in each corner, on rectangles with ground worked solidly in dark green.


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