Amazon Basin and the Coasts :
Europeans landing on the coast of what is now Brazil in the early sixteenth century encountered such groups as the Tupinambás, who wore feathered headdresses, and early drawings of natives wearing feathers became shorthand for Native Americans. Feathered or porcupine quill headdresses are still worn by most Amazonian groups for daily or fiesta use. Clothing is often minimal, no more than a penis string for males and a cache-sexe (G-string) for females, along with body painting or tattoos, and/or earplugs or earrings, bead, fiber, animal bone or tooth necklaces, bandoleers, armbands, leg bands, and bracelets, nose and lip and hair ornaments—an infinite variety of ornamentation—and, among Kayapo and Botocudo males of Brazil, ternbeiteras, large circular wooden discs inserted in the lower lip.
The Andean Countries
The countries that once constituted the Inca Empire (much of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and part of northern Argentina) are significant for several reasons. The first is that the Pacific coastal deserts have resulted in the preservation of organic material including mummy bundles with cadavers completely dressed. Other archaeological artifacts, such as realistic ceramics portraying dressed humans, combined with the Spanish conquistadors’ and other historical accounts allow us to reconstruct the dress of ancient peoples. It is possible to generalize about the myriad local and historical highland and coastal dress styles, which can be referred to overall as Andean. First, the main fibers, dyes, and many technical features of later dress were in use by the Common Era. Fibers, hand spun and handwoven on simple stick or frame looms, included New World cotton and camelid (llama, alpaca, vicuna, and Wanamaker). Myriad dyes were used to great effect, including Relbunium and cochineal (red to purple), indigo (blue to black), and a number of plants that gave yellow. Garments for the wealthy or high ranking were often adorned with embroidery, feathers, beads, and gold or silver discs. Second, per-Hispanic garments were variations of the square or rectangle, and they were woven to size using virtually every technique known to modern Euro-American weavers. Jewelry varied by sex, age, and rank.
The Peruvian CoastBy the time of the Paracas culture (c. 600-175 B.C.E.) on the south coast of Peru, male ritual attire consisted of garments that were typical of the coast until the Spanish Conquest in 1532: headband or turban, waist-length tunic (sometimes with short, attached sleeves) or ta bard, breech cloth or kilt like wrap skirt, mantle, and sometimes sandals, and a small bag, usually used to hold coca leaves. Paracas dress was consistent in terms of size, shape, and patterning, but varied in terms of decoration. Many Paracas garments, for example, were elaborately embroidered and many garments had added fringes, tabs, or edgings (Paul 1990).
Coastal male tunics and ta bards had vertical warps and neck slits, while women’s tunics were worn with the warp horizontal, with stitches at the shoulders and a horizontal neck opening (Rowe and Cohen 2002, p. 114). Women also wore a mantle. Male garments from the Chimu culture (c. C.E. 850-1532) of the north coast were sometimes woven in matched sets with identical weave structures and motifs on the tunic, breech cloth, and turban (Rowe 1984, p. 28).
For all the coastal cultures, jewelry differed by gender and rank and could include neckpieces, pectorals, bracelets, crowns, nose rings, and earplugs of copper, silver, gold, Spondylus shell, turquoise, feathers, and combinations of these materials, including the magnificent jewelry excavated from the royal tombs of Siphon of the Moche culture
Inca DressBefore the Spanish arrived, the Incas, spreading from their center in Cuzco, Peru, between c. 1300 and 1532, reigned over a vast empire. Mandating that conquered groups maintain their traditional clothing, headhttp://mixfashion2.tk/dress, and hairstyle allowed the Incas to identify and control them.
Highland dress differed from that of the coast. Garments were generally woven of camelid hair because of the cold. Inca garments had a distinctive embroidered edging combining cross-knit loop stitch and overcasting, with striped edge bindings on finer textiles (called qumpi, often double-faced tapestry) and solid bindings on plainer ones (awash) (Rowe 1995-1996, p. 6). Cloth was important, even sacred, to the Incas, who burned fine clothing as sacrifices to the sun (Murray 1989 ).
Inca women wore an ankle-length square or rectangular body wrap called an auks in the southern part of the empire and anaku in the north. It was wrapped under the arms, then pulled up and pinned over each shoulder with a tupu, a stickpin made of wood, bone, copper, or—for higher status women—silver or gold. The tupus were connected with a cord with dangling Spondylus shell pendants. A chump, or wide belt with woven pattern, held the aksu shut at the waist.
Next came a lliklla, a mantle, held shut with another stickpin (t’ipki; later also called tutu), and an istalla, a small bag for coca leaves. Some females wore headbands known by winch a, their Spanish name, and some upper-class women wore Ananias, a type of head cloth (Rowe 19951996).
Contemporary Andean Indigenous ClothingTraditional Andean dress in the early twenty-first century is a mixture of per-Hispanic and Spanish colonial styles. Dress still indicates ethnicity, and in Peru use of the ch-lulu (knitted hat with ear flaps) by males and Montserrat (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, Canard, and Octavos), and one Bolivian (the Tarabucos), one ethnic marker for males is long hair worn in a braid. The Tabascos are also known for their unique helmetlike hat (Mei-sch 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 llikllas, 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 (Cágabas) 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 Páezes 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.
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. Artesaniasy 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 Mundi, 1987.
____. “Weaving Styles in Tarabuco, Bolivia.” In The Junius 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 .
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.