Andean Textiles

” Weaving in the Andes is not just weaving, it is maintaining a dialogue with the origin”, it is a very efficient communication system, between the beginning of life and this present moment, “Weaving is catching the information of the cosmos recognizing one in the divine and manifest it with apparent simplicity in a complex Andean mantle ”

Throughout history in the Andes, textile production reached a great development that was expressed in the beautiful Paracas, Huari and Chancay cloths, as well as tapestries, brocades and double fabrics, among others. During the empire of the Incas they continued to make fine clothes with ornaments of feathers of exotic birds, with exquisite embroidery and ornaments of gold and silver or mullu as a status symbol. In addition, clothing for common use continued to be developed.

The Andean fabric was an element of special importance and value in the Inca period, and, therefore, essential for reciprocity (Ayni). The Inca State needed to count on a large quantity of fabrics to satisfy the demand and, for this reason, it created the Aclla huasi, places where the mamaconas were dedicated to making both fine (cumbis) and coarse garments, and to prepare the drinks for the celebrations and official ceremonies.

One of the finest garments produced by the Incas were the uncus or t-shirts, which were characterized by being adorned with embroidered geometric figures called tocapu. These forms have aroused the interest of researchers, because the complexity and variety of details that they have make think of a kind of ideographic writing.

For the Incas the importance of textiles was religious, social and political. They expressed their worldview, their sense of space and their divisions. They were symbols of a social level. The famous Damero ponchos, white with black and red at the center, were destined only for the orejones or generals close to the Inca. It is said that the geometric designs that appear in some tissues, also served to identify the Incas and their families. From the political point of view, textiles represented interchangeable treasures as well as taxable products that united the empire.

Thanks to all  the years that the Andean Encounters  Team has been working with different Andean communities of Cusco, we have opened another line in our Sustainable Tourism services, in order to satisfy the needs of our Local Andean Hosts and that of our touristic visitors, in this way we continue to support and complying with the Law of the Andean cosmovision the law of “Ayni” (reciprocity) for this reason we have prepared a catalog with different works in Textiles in Alpaca hand-made by different families in Cusco communities.

A collaboration will be more than very welcome for many families of the Andean communities of Cusco, supporting Indigenous Life …