A handcrafted ceremonial cloth, called "uncuña", that has been traditionally used by the indigenous people of the Andes when making offerings to "Mother Earth". It is also commonly used by the local people to carry with them coca leaves when they work in the fields.
This textile has been made using 100% llama yarn. The llamas, cousins of the alpaca animal, provide a high quality fiber that is less soft than the alpaca fiber. It is therefore more commonly used for producing accessories or outer clothing.
The yarns used are undyed e.g. the colors are naturally occurring variations of llama hair.
The main theme that can be found at the center of the cloth is two representations of the Sun, a symbol of great significance for the Inka civilization. One instance represents the sunrise, and the other represents the sunset. In between are representations of the condor, the "Flower of Mother Earth", and the "Four Directions".
Other traditional design patterns used include the mountains, the Inka pathways, and a symbolic representation of duality as found in the Andean traditions.
It is decorated with tassels at its four corners, which also help to tie them together when folding it.
You can watch the artisan explaining the symbolism and usage of this cloth in the following video.
This uncuña is 36 cm / 13.2" long and 24 cm / 14.1" wide.
Symbolism and usage of traditional ceremonial uncuña cloth from the Peruvian Andes
An artisan from the Amaru Network association of weavers, from the community of Amaru in the Peruvian Andes, explains the symbolism and the usage of a traditional uncuña - a ceremonial cloth used by the indigenous people when making offerings to "Mother Earth", that is also used to carry coca leaves when working in the fields.
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