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Peruvian nose ornament with spiders. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain.

Ancient Peruvians Loved Spider-Themed Nose Jewelry (Video)


Peruvian fashion in ancient times showcased septum jewelry adorned with spiders, a unique and captivating choice. These intricate ornaments, often cast in gold, were far from everyday wear, instead symbolizing both beauty and deeper meaning. The delicate spider-themed jewelry, suspended from the septum, exuded an ethereal quality reminiscent of cobwebs. This design held significance in Peru's arid coastal regions, where spiders were tied to agricultural fertility and rain. High-ranking men of the time favored these nose ornaments, which partially obscured the face, possibly symbolizing a transformation of personality or a shamanistic role.

Intriguingly, the diverse imagery found on these ornaments in important tombs suggests personalized meanings. Each image carried its significance, weaving a silent narrative within the object. During this era, luxury goods focused on the face to elevate the wearer's status. Those who wore these spider-themed septum ornaments were akin to billionaires of their time, leaving a legacy that speaks through these intricate pieces. Without extensive written records, these objects become the storytellers of their time and place, inviting us to explore the mysteries of Peruvian fashion, rich in symbolism and historical significance.

Top image: Peruvian nose ornament with spiders. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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