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Unkuna or wayaka cloths are remarkably challenging to weave. In spite of their apparent simplicity, they are challenging to weave and carry sacred importance to the Q’ero people. The people bundle sacred coca leaves in these traditional carry cloths. Women tuck them in their waist belts. Men carry them in their coca bags. The people also carry warm potatoes wrapped in these cloths as a sort of “lunch box” when hiking across the mountains, herding llamas and alpacas across the steep Andean mountainsides. Manuela Apaza Gerillo of the Hapu Q’ero Nation, wove this ukuna of natural fiber colors with thin colorful bands on the edges in the traditional way. Her family used it for their potatoes and coca ceremonies, and the grey area shows some of the coloration from ritual potato sharing (less obvious than shows in the photo). 23 x 20 in. 58.5 x 51 cm. A photo of Manuela holding a different textile is included with your purchase.
Learn how your purchase helps the Q’ero people: Q’ero Life in the Andes: A Partnership.
To learn more about Q’ero weaving and watch them spin and weave, watch this brief video: Weaving in the Q’ero Nation.
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