Featured Artifacts: Chancay Culture, AD 1000-1400

Textile Textile Textile Textile

Chancay is a regional culture of the central coast of Peru that developed after the demise of the Wari empire. During the early parts of the second millennium AD, the central and south coasts of Peru experienced the rise and development of several competing regional polities. Chancay is one of those.The Chancay style is documented in the valleys of Chancay and Chillón. Little is known of the Chancay society, but evidence indicates that groups had probably attained a centralized form of political structure. It is believed that the Chancay represented a small regional state. Ethnohistorical accounts indicate that the polity was conquered by the Chimú empire as part of their southern expansion.The Chancay are best known for their black and white pottery, and their elaborate textiles. Pots were made using moulds, reflecting their large-scale production. Chancay textiles mainly come from burial contexts. Many textile forms have been documented such as gauzes and brocades, and the Chancay are known for the quality of their painted tapestries. Designs are typically geometric and plants, animals and human figures are also represented.