chapter  V
42 Pages

Under Inca Rule

The Indian dress was practical and unpretentious. The men wore a breach-clout, which was assumed on reaching maturity, and a chusma, a kind of sleeveless waistcoat which was made by folding a square of cloth down the middle, sewing up the edges with a gap before the fold through which the arms were inserted and cutting a slit for the head in the fold. The now ubiquitous poncho, which was introduced only after the Conquest, is like a chusma without the edges sewn. Above the chusma was worn a loose woollen cape, called yacolla, the ends of which were thrown over one shoulder while working. The women wore a loose unshaped tunic (anaco) flowing to the feet and above it a shawl (lliclla) of woven material and sometimes a stomach band (chumpi). Both men and women normally went barefoot. The Indian had no reserve wardrobe but kept a few finer clothes for gala occasions. His working clothes were worn until they would no longer hold together and were then discarded, but as they were very durable a person would rarely have to renew them after reaching adult age. They were made mainly from llama wool or from cotton where there was trade with the coast; the finest clothes of the nobility were from the beautiful wool of the vicuña. They were gaily and tastefully coloured and beautifully patterned. The art of

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weaving achieved a perfection both in technique and in design which has been rarely equalled and the textile fragments recovered from tombs are genuine museum prizes. Gold, silver and copper pins and brooches, often set with coloured stones, and gaudy feathers were used for adornment. The aesthetic gifts of the Quechuas were directed to personal adornment, the love of flowers, which were assiduously cultivated, and to music and dance.