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THE CHULLO: An emblematic piece of Andean tradition

 

Foto Portada blog

 

The origin of the “Chullo” (or hat with ears) is not precise since its use is well spread in several countries of South America: Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, with their own representative colors, designs, materials, ornaments, etc. 

There are those who believe that the “Chullo” had its origin in the high lands, where the cold forced man to protect their head and their ears; however, there is another current that explains that the use of headdresses had a relevance in the Andean world. A symbolism that is still valid nowadays. 

 

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The “Chullos” have accompanied the Andean man since pre-Hispanic times. It is known that its use is related to the noble classes to show their status, the Andean priests for the worship of the gods and the landworkers to identify the communities or their marital status. 

 

Machu Picchu Queros

 

There are simple Chullos woven with sticks, in loom, with circular weaven techniques. Its iconography is very interesting and expresses the origin, beliefs, aspirations, intentions and even the wealth of its creator or possessor. 

  • In Ocongate (Cusco), the Chullo is used by man to express his intentions of marriage and his iconography speaks of the wealth of its possessor.
  • In Taquile (Puno), the Chullos speak of the marital status of their possessor (single, married, separated) depending on the colors and their style when using it. Moreover, it is known that a man is ready to marry when he is able to knit a Chullo by himself, without mistakes and with a fine design and fabric.
  • In Keros or Queros (Cusco) there are the most beautiful and ornate Chullos of the Andes. The greater the ornament, the greater the degree of wisdom or mastery in Andean rituals.

 

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At Tika Bistro, our restaurant at Casa San Blas Boutique, hotel in Cusco, we have a collection of Chullos from different Andean communities. Ask our team to show you these art-pieces and tell you their stories.    

 

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Today the Chullo has migrated from The Andes to the fashion world as a fine accessory. The most famous and sophisticated designers in the world have included these pieces to accompany their collections. 

If you are walking through the downtown of Cusco or you are visiting an Andean community during your trip, and observe Chullo weavers, do not miss the opportunity to ask the meaning of its iconography, admire its beauty and the talent of the extraordinary Andean weavers.

Its price varies depending on the quality of the material, the adornments it carries or the weaving technique. Do not bargain. Please appreciate the art. Demand quality. Keep in mind that you are supporting the economy of a family and especially do not forget that you are buying a piece of art that you can wear anywhere in the world capturing the attention of those who cross your path, making of you an ambassador of Andean traditions.

 

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