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South American Headwear

Beverly Chico

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Two basic factors influence clothing and headwear worn by South Americans; one derives from ancient indigenous cultures, and the other from cultural diffusion resulting from the conquest and colonization by the Spanish and Portuguese. Most South Americans today are of mixed racial heritage. The modern urban population usually wears European- or American-style manufactured clothing and headwear. In more isolated areas, characteristic head coverings are still worn, exemplified in three climate regi

Aymara Women’s Dress of La Paz, Bolivia

Lynn A. Meisch

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Much of modern Bolivia was incorporated into the Inka Empire in the mid-fifteenth century as Collasuyu, “the Colla sector,” which was named after the Aymara-speaking Colla kingdom at the northern end of Lake Titicaca. Colla was one of several large Aymara-speaking kingdoms on the altiplano (high-altitude plain) around and to the south of Lake Titicaca. Aymara speakers have a long tradition of textile excellence dating back at least to the Tiwanaku period, 500–1000 c.e. Today many Aymara women liv

Visualizing Difference: The Rhetoric of Clothing in Colonial Spanish America

Mariselle Meléndez

Source: The Latin American Fashion Reader 2005

Book chapter

Walter Mignolo observes that the lack of writing along with the lack of clothing and cannibalism constituted three crucial elements often used in the construction of Amerindian images: “Not having it yet or having it in excess were two cognitive moves used by Europeans in constructing the identity of the self-same by constructing at the same time, the image of the other” (Mignolo 1992: 312). Written as well as visual texts usually contrasted the nakedness of the indigenous people with the presenc

Far Eastern Influences in Latin American Fashions

Araceli Tinajero

Source: The Latin American Fashion Reader 2005

Book chapter

Dressed to Kill: The Embroidered Fashion Industry of the Sakaka of Highland Bolivia

Elayne Zorn

Source: The Latin American Fashion Reader 2005

Book chapter

Almost immediately upon one of her return trips home in 1989 from the Chapare, Bolivia’s principal coca-growing region (Leóns and Sanabria 1997), a young unmarried Sakaka woman in the community where I was living set up her loom to weave a new overskirt or aqsu for an upcoming festival. Juana (all names are pseudonyms) was stylishly dressed that day in the latest factory-made Cochabamba-style pollera or full pleated skirt and sweater set, similar to the young woman on the left in the photograph (

Cloth of the Sakaka of Bolivia

Elayne Zorn

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

The Sakaka are a large ethnic group, or ayllu, of native Andeans who live in the Northern Potosí region of central highland Bolivia. As in many indigenous Bolivian ethnic groups, in the late twentieth century the majority of Sakaka Ayllu’s members continued the Andean tradition of weaving and wearing handmade textiles for both daily and festival use, although in the early twenty-first century the process of handweaving has been in decline. In the late 1980s, when anthropologist Elayne Zorn collec

Evo Morales and the Politics of Dress in Bolivia

Elayne Zorn

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

On January 21, 2006, Evo Morales Ayme walked from the Akapana pyramid at the ancient site of Tiwanaku, Bolivia, where he had been blessed by indigenous religious specialists, to the top of the Kalasasaya temple, where he spoke to the tens of thousands of people gathered to see his symbolic investiture as leader of Bolivia and hear him give thanks to “God and Mother Earth” and call for unity. The next day, Morales was inaugurated officially as the first indigenous president of Bolivia, a majority

He Gave Her Sandals and She Gave Him a Tunic: Cloth and Weddings in the Andes

Lynn A. Meisch

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

The Inca empire, that extended along the Pacific coast and Andean highlands from northern Argentina and Chile to the southern edge of Colombia, was composed of a multitude of polities and ethnic groups. Our knowledge of Inca customs, including matrimonies, comes primarily from Spanish chronicles, colonial written accounts of the Andean world, which must be read with the knowledge that the descriptions of Inca life were filtered through the eyes of men intent on political control, economic exploit

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