Aguayos are the traditional weavings of the Quechua and Aymara peoples who dwell high in the Andes. They are the direct descendants of the Inca. This method of weaving, using a back-strap loom, hand-spun alpaca or vicuna wool and natural vegetable and cochineal (insect) dyes has been used for over 2000 years. The textiles are typically two identical and tightly woven panels (approximately 20") , which are then sewn together, creating a relatively square manta. Mantas are most typically used by the Shaman in ceremonial practices.
Vintage aguayos are becoming difficult to find and are testament to a lost art that is unlike anything manufactured today. They are articles of a passing culture. Often tattered and imperfect, with perhaps a few moth holes, each tells a story of culture and craftsmanship. To make a traditional aguayo, a weaver would take 200 hours to spin and dye the yarn and 280 hours to weave.
The back-strap loom, made of wood, bone and strings, is the oldest form of loom in the world, and creates an incredibly tight weave that can be read on both sides. Traditional Incan symbols (aka "pallays") oftentimes were woven into the borders.
At HUS we have a few very special aguayos. Dating from late 19th century to early 20th century, these character-rich mantas are some of the most beautiful we have seen.
Available on our web store soon!!!!!