Dressing the Child: An Analysis of Camisas at Chiribaya Alta

Author(s): Emily Schach; Jane Buikstra

Year: 2017


Children learn and communicate their social identities through dress. Thus, examinations of ancient clothing can reveal the process of socialization in past societies. The presence of child and adult sized camisas in the graves of Chiribaya children suggest that these items communicate more than a child’s living identities. Here, we analyze camisas at Chiribaya Alta to examine the process of socialization and the role of death as a potential rite of passage. The site of Chiribaya Alta, an elite Late Intermediate Period site located ~10km from the ocean along the Osmore River of southern Peru, provides an ideal location for this study because its nine cemeteries represent a large sample of Chiribaya tombs (n=307), many of which contain preserved camisas. Chiribaya camisas are buried with individuals of all ages and sexes. These garments consist of single web warp-faced structure, are either trapezoidal or rectangular in shape, and are often decorated with lateral stripes and embroidered finishes. Through comparisons between the camisas buried with children to those with adults, we will address the process of socialization in Chiribaya society and whether or not children are acquiring adult identities in death through a funerary rite of passage.

Cite this Record

Dressing the Child: An Analysis of Camisas at Chiribaya Alta. Emily Schach, Jane Buikstra. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431025)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14403