History behind the piece

The lliqlla is a typical textile of the Andes of Peru used by women in indigenous communities mainly as a coat. In contrast to its masculine brother, the poncho, which entered the city in a public and visible way, the lliqlla remained silent among its own and housed geometric signs that reveal, as in other pieces that are part of traditional Andean clothing, the space and identity of its creators.

The lliqlla covers the back of the woman and is traditionally fastened to the chest with silver pins known as tupus. This intricate warm weaving, whose manufacturing process was carried out entirely by hand, is made up of several stripes, among which the pallay bands stand out, a term in Quechua used to indicate the presence of selected geometric motifs in a certain expressive order. The designs do not articulate sentences, but are expressed as notes of a melody that together basically represent the user's environment.

The color has a special meaning beyond its beauty, since the combinations are not used by chance, but rather respect schemes capable of indicating the geographical space to which the fabric belongs.This, in particular, is a traditional piece from the Ancasmarca community in the Calca province (Cusco, Peru) made with sheep's wool, a specimen considered an expression of ethnographic art1.

Unlike many handmade fabrics that are currently developed on large pedal looms made of wood from the colonization era, this traditional piece was made on a simple backstrap loom; instrument used for more than 5000 years by the ancient inhabitants of the Andes.

Approximately two and a half months were used for its creation, just in terms of setting the the loom and the carefull development of the weaving.. It should be noted that this time does not include the previous processes through which its fibers pass: from the shearing of the animal, cleaning of impurities and weeding the fiber, the color classification, the ordered of the strands, the twisting of the same for the obtaining of thread, even dyeing with plants (if applicable), processes that are also carried out by hand.

This piece preserves the traditional characteristics of shape, color, decoration and size typical of the lliqllas of the Ancasmarca community. Its fabric that goes from burgundy red to carmine red, passing through touches of solidago, copper and strawberry (dyed with wild pigments) showings us in its iconographies different shapes of stars and allusions to the proximity of water sources. At the same time, it also indicates the belonging, by the weaver, of herds of llamas, and since the raising of animals is one of the main economic activities of the Andean communities, it is not surprising that they are always represented in their textile expressions, insinuations various animals.

Origin: Ancasmarca
Measurements: 96 cm  X 102 cm 
Condition: Excellent
SKU: 0394

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1Ethnographic Art is considered to be that production made by the member of an ethnic group, made exclusively for personal or communal use, and that necessarily carries a cultural load of the people to which it belongs.