Peru: Dress                                                   

Traditional Dress for Women
Clothing worn by Quechua women today is a mixture of two styles: pre-Spanish days and Spanish colonial peasant dress.

Lliclla is a small rectangular hand-woven shoulder cloth fastened at the front using a tupu (a decorated pin). However it is more common nowadays to see a large safety pin being used.

K’eperina is a large rectangular carrying cloth worn over the back and knotted in front. Children and goods are securely held inside.

Polleras are colorful skirts made from hand-woven wool cloth called bayeta. Women may wear 3 or 4 skirts for a graduated layered effect. On special occasions such as festivals women may wear up to 15 polleras tied around their waists. Often the trim of each skirt is lined with a colorful puyto which is usually handmade.


Monteras are hats that vary tremendously throughout the communities in the Andes. Often it is possible to identify the village from which a woman comes by just the type of hat she wears. Hats are secured with delicately woven sanq'apa straps adorned with white beads (photo from Ausangate region). 

A unkuña is a small rectangular cloth which is used for carrying snacks such as corn or coca.

Ojotas are sandals that are made from recycled truck tires.

Under their shoulder cloths the women wear wool jackets called juyunas with front panels decorated with white buttons. They are elaborately adorned and commonly turned inside out for everyday use. Under the juyuna, women wear a tight-fitting sweater usually in brilliant shades of yellow, pink, and green.

                   Can you name the clothing items found in this photo?

Traditional Dress for Men
Often younger Quechua men wear Western-style clothing, the most popular being synthetic football shirts and tracksuit pants.  

Older men still wear dark wool knee-length hand-woven bayeta pants.

A woven belt called a chumpi is also worn which provides protection to the lower back when working in the fields.

Fine dress includes a woolen waistcoat similar to a sleeveless juyuna as worn by the women but referred to as a chaleco. Chalecos can be richly decorated.

The most distinctive part of men's clothing is the hand-woven
poncho (photo). Nearly every Quechua man and boy has a poncho, generally red in color and decorated with intricate designs. Each district has a distinctive pattern. In some communities, such as Huilloc, Patacancha, and many villages in the Lares Valley, ponchos are worn as daily attire. However most men use their ponchos on special occasions such as festivals, village meetings, weddings etc. 


As with the women, ojotas (sandals made from recycled tires) (photo) are the standard footwear. They are cheap and durable. 

Chullos are knitted hats with earflaps (see previous poncho photo). The first chullo that a child receives is traditionally knitted by his father. In the Ausangate region chullos are often ornately adorned with white beads and large tassels called t'ikas.

Men sometimes wear a felt hat called a sombrero over the top of the chullo decorated with centillo (finely decorated hat bands).

Since ancient times men have worn small woven pouches called chuspas (photo) to carry their coca leaves.