We, the Incas, make most of our clothes from the wool of the animals we raise: llamas and alpacas. We use their wool for weaving clothes. The techniques we use allow us to make fabrics of a very high quality.

The clothes we make are brightly coloured, and are decorated with various shapes and symbols. To create such bright colours, we make dyes from plants, trees, seashells, minerals and animals. For example, the bright red of our clothing comes from the cochineal, a small insect that lives on cactus plants.

Clothes for important people

The important people in our community, like the priests and village chiefs, wear special clothes. Their clothes are more colourful and more finely decorated than those of the peasants. For us, clothes are a way of showing our importance in the community.

Author: Alexandre Lanoix