Contemporary Andean Indigenous Clothing

Traditional Andean dress in the early twenty-first century is a mixture of pre-Hispanic and Spanish colonial styles. Dress still indicates ethnicity, and in Peru use of the chullu (knitted hat with earflaps) by males and montera (Spanish flat-brimmed hat) by females denotes indigenous identity, with variations in the hats indicating the wearer's community. In Bolivia and Ecuador, a variety of hats indicate ethnicity and among three Ecuadorian groups (the Saraguros, Canars, and Otavalos), and one Bolivian (the Tarabucos), one ethnic marker for males is long hair worn in a braid. The Tarabucos are also known for their unique helmetlike hat (Meisch 1986).

In several communities—for example Q'ero in Peru (Rowe and Cohen 2002), the Chipayas in Bolivia, and the Saraguros in Ecuador (Meisch 1980-1981)—males still wear versions of the Inca tunic, while the females of Otavalo, Ecuador, wear dress that is the closest in form to Inca women's dress worn anywhere in the Andes (Meisch 1987, p. 118). Throughout northern Ecuador, indigenous females of many ethnic groups still wear the anaku, now a wrap skirt, handwoven belt, lliklla, sometimes a tupu, and distinctive hat, while males wear ponchos and felt fedoras.

In the Cuzco, Peru, region, males wear the chullu, the poncho, and sometimes handwoven wool pants, or Euro-American style dress, while women are more conservative and wear short jackets and sometimes vests over manufactured blouses and sweaters, and pollera with llik-llas, skirts with handwoven belts held shut with a tupu, or safety pin. In many communities, women still pride themselves on their ability to weave fine cloth using pre-Hispanic technology.

In the Ausangate region south Cuzco, such small differences in the women's dress as the length of their pollera and the presence of fringe on their monteras indicates residence (Heckman 2003, pp. 83-84).

In the Corporaque region (southern Peru), the women's dress (vests, hats, gathered skirts), while quite European in form except for their carrying cloths, is elaborately machine-embroidered in small workshops (Fe-menias 1980, p. 1). Although the technology is European, the importance of dress as an ethnic marker is Andean. Throughout the Bolivian, Peruvian, and Ecuadorian Andes, many indigenous people wear usuta, sandals made from truck tires, but in northern Ecuador, alpargatas, handmade cotton sandals, are worn.

Although Colombia has a small indigenous population, groups in two major highland regions maintain distinctive dress styles. The Kogis (Cagabas) and Incas of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on the Atlantic coast wear long, cotton belted tunics over tight pants, and a small, round hat, cotton and pointed for the former, flat-topped fiber or cotton for the latter. Men also carry a mochilas, a cotton bag for their coca leaves and lime gourd. Women wear a garment that resembles the aksu, which is wrapped around the body, tied over one shoulder, and fastened at the waist with a belt.

After the Spanish conquest, the Paezes of southwestern Colombia developed a unique dress, abandoning simple cotton wraps. The most distinctive features of male dress are a short, wool, poncho-like garment, and a wool wrap skirt. Throughout the Andes, children usually wear a wrap skirt until they are toilet trained; then they wear traditional dress like the adults. Native people continue to use indigenous dress to define themselves as ethnic communities, and to combine pre-Hispanic and European technologies in the manufacture of their clothing.

See also Cache-Sexe; Homespun; Turban. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adelson, Laurie, and Arthur Tracht. Aymara Weavings: Ceremonial Textiles of Colonial and 19th Century Bolivia. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1983. Bianchi César et al. Artesanías y Técnicas Shuar. Quito: Ediciones

Mundo Shuar, 1982. Dwyer, Jane Powell, ed. The Cashinahua of Eastern Peru. Providence, R.I.: The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University, 1975. Femenias, Blenda, with Mary Guaman. El Primer nueva coránica y buen gobierno, 3 vols. From the original El Primer coránica y buen gobierno by Felipe Poma de Ayala (1615). Jaime L. Urioste, trans., John Murra and Rolena Adorno, eds. Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno, 1980.

Heckman, Andrea. Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003.

Meisch, Lynn. "Costume and Weaving in Saraguro, Ecuador." The Textile Museum Journal 19/20 (1980-1981): 55-64.

-. Otavalo: Weaving, Costume and the Market. Quito: Libri

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B. Bird Conference on Andean Textiles. Edited by Ann Pollard Rowe, 243-274. Washington, D.C.: The Textile Museum, 1986.

Montell, Gösta. Dress and Ornament in Ancient Peru: Archaeological and Historical Studies. Göteborg, Sweden: Elanders Boktryckeri Aktiebolag, 1929.

Murra, John. "Cloth and Its Function in the Inca State." In Cloth and Human Experience, edited by Annette B. Weiner and J. Schneider, 275-302. Washington, D.C., and London: Smithsonian Institution Press 1989 [1962].

Paul, Anne. Paracas Ritual Attire: Symbols of Authority in Ancient Peru. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990.

Pillsbury, Joanne. "Inka Unku: Strategy and Design in Colonial Peru." The Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland Studies in the History of Art 7(2002): 68-103. Rowe, Ann Pollard. Costumes and Featherwork of the Lords of Chi-mor: Textiles from Peru's North Coast. Washington, D.C.: The Textile Museum, 1984.

-. "Inca Weaving and Costume." The Textile Museum

Journal 34/35 (1995-1996): 4-53. Rowe, Ann Pollard, and John Cohen. Hidden Threads of Peru: Q'ero Textiles. London and Washington, D.C.: Merrell Publishers and The Textile Museum, 2002. Vanstan, Ina. Textiles from Beneath the Temple of Pachacamac, Peru. Philadelphia: The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, 1967.

Lynn A. Meisch

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