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History behind the piece

The manton is a woman's garment used as an overcoat and with such a name since the 17th century in Latin America. Born as a piece of coat that is worn over the shoulders, it reaches the rank of luxurious cloak and is preserved as an object of traditional clothing in some cultures; However, for many Andean communities, the long and narrow cloak format is considered contemporary and not necessarily capable of identifying its wearer as part of an ethnic group, despite being developed under the traditional weaving techniques and processes of a people.

This, in particular, is a piece from the Hualla Hualla community in the district of Marcapata, Quispicanchi province (Cusco, Peru) entirely made by hand with alpaca wool, an example considered an expression of traditional rural 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.

Its creation took about two months, just in terms of setting the loom and the careful hand-weaving. It is worth mention that this time does not include the previous processes through which its fibers pass: from the shearing of the wool, the cleaning of impurities, the unraveling of the fleece, the color classification, the first twisting of the fibers to obtain the preliminary thread, the development of the skein, the dyeing with plants, to the final spinning, processes that are also carried out by hand.

This warm cloak is made up of several stripes, among which the bands of "pallay" stand out, a term in Quechua used to indicate the presence of geometric motifs selected in a specific expressive order. Their designs do not articulate sentences, but rather are reflected as notes of a melody that as a whole basically represent the user's environment. This is why this fabric, whose neutral ranges impress by the variety of tones that can be obtained directly from alpaca fibers without any intervention of wild dyes, shows in its iconography a main central section dedicated to the farmlands in the hills, along with stripes whose graphics represent rivers, the flow of water, local vegetation, and even traditional agricultural tools such as the “taclla”.

Origin: Hualla Hualla, Cusco
Measurements: 163 cm x 36 cm
(Does not include measurement of the fringes: 7/9 cm long)
Condition: Excellent
SKU: 0446


1Rural Traditional Art is considered to be those plastic manifestations created by rural residents whose productions cannot be identified as part of the autochthonous language of an ethnic group. A traditional artist from the rural area who migrates to the city will continue to make traditional rural art as long as he maintains their techniques, forms and functions, since these come from the rural area.