This article addresses two central components of the study of perforated ornaments recovered from archaeological contexts: 1) the explication and analysis of the relationship between perforated ornaments and identity production, and 2) the collection of data specific to perforated ornaments. By comparing perforated ornaments from the Chimú-Inka period (ca. 1470-1532) elite tomb at Samanco, Peru, to those from other sites, patterns in the use of perforated ornaments in identity negotiation may be identified and assessed. We demonstrate that perforated ornaments were deployed to demonstrate local, regional, and imperial identities, though in an ambiguous way that could have been mis- or reinterpreted. Although a central component of the assessment of identity negotiation involves comparison with perforated ornaments from other sites, this study is limited because they are rarely described in detail. In an effort to remedy this situation, we provide detailed methods and results as baselines for future comparison.
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Carter, Benjamin and Helmer, Matthew
"Elite Dress and Regional Identity: Chimú-Inka Perforated Ornaments from Samanco, Nepeña Valley, Coastal Peru."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
27: 46-74. Available at: