ARCHIVES &
COLLECTIONS
SYNTHESIS
TOCAPU-SIGNS
SITES
ARCHIVES & COLLECTIONS
OBJECTS
IMAGES
LITERATURE
Tocapu

all tocapu

    Barthel 15 Variation Toca
000210
magnifier

Barthel 15 Variation

Tocapu representing a row of llamas/llama heads (Clados 2012). This interpretation is based on a comparison with motifs of coca bags showing llamas in a row identical to this motif. LH3 Tocapu. Colors yellow, red, white, black and purple are used. Tunic, Inca A.D. 1450-1530 Camelid fibers, cotton Height 23 ¼ in. Width (at top) 26 ¼ in. Private Collection This piece is nearly identical to one of the Hendershott Collection sold in 2006. It's the half of a man's tunic. Woven in the tightest, imperial quality tapestry weave, this tocapu tunic has on each side, as seen when worn, over ten identically-sized Tocapus. These are arranged in six horizontal bands of ten squares across each (for the entire tunic this totals one-hundred twenty squares). The Hendershott piece demonstrates that there must have been originally a single band of two square rows with a continuous design of connected hexagons containing and surrounded by rows of small linked triangles below the main field. The upper part of this band is still preserved. A narrow dark brown plain band at bottom is bound with a multi-colored embroidered edging. Tocapu textiles were the prerogative of members of the Inca imperial clan and higher level elite individuals. The extensively varied patterns which appear in the squares are thought to have encoded information conveying rank and privileges of the individuals wearing these garments, as well as indication that they controlled a variety of ethnicities within the empire (Rebecca Stone-Miller. Art of the Andes from Chavín to Inca. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995, p. 210). Certain of these patterns occur as the overall single motif of a tunic which would have been worn by a lower status individual. Provenance unknown. Lavalle and Lang 1987, 173. Clados Fig. 189c. Drawing © 2010 Christiane Clados

 

On Objects:

Fragment of Tunic (1)