The Colonial Period

The European invasion of the sixteenth century altered costume drastically, and introduced new materials such as sheep's wool and silk, as well as new ideas and forms. In less than a hundred years, Andean men adopted European breeches, hose, and felt hats. The Inca tapestry shirt became ritual costume used to claim royal descent, and specific meaning of patterns was lost. Portraits of Inca noblewomen show fuller, ground-length Inca-style dresses. Decorated belts define the waist, and highly patterned shawls cover the shoulders. Common people of the Andes continued to use much of the basic costume but added pants for men and hats in the new European technique of knitting.

Spanish Peru, a closed colony until the eighteenth century, developed a unique Creole costume from European, Islamic, and indigenous sources. In addition to the long full skirts and lace trim familiar in Europe, Spanish Creole women added the manta, a small hood that could cover the face in the manner of the Islamic Moors, and the saya, a long straight overskirt from indigenous Andean models. The LimeƱa Tapada (Covered Woman of Lima) of the seventeenth century wore long skirts to obscure the feet, while tight bodices went so far as to reveal the breasts in public.

The eighteenth-century advent of the Bourbon Kings in Spain and political ferment in Peru led to profound changes in the clothing and fashion. With the colony opened to trade, Creole costume fell into step with European fashion. Meanwhile, leaders claiming Inca royal descent revitalized indigenous costume as part of rebellion against Spanish authorities. Insurrections led to prohibition against indigenous costume and to sumptuary laws requiring Andeans to adopt a new costume derived from that of Iberian commoners. This set of clothes included vests, jackets, and knee-length breeches for men and full skirts for women. Both genders adopted a saucer-shaped hat to

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