History of the Poncho
We Love Alpaca, Handmade and Ethical Fashion


The Peruvian textile tradition, it is probably the oldest in the world. Thousands of years of history surprise us.

Peru is a country that weaves its history and Peruvian  chronicles are influenced by Alpaca fiber.

The Poncho is Peruvian traditional heritage, is the typical dress of Peru. It is a simple design coat. A rectangular piece of thick fabric  with a cut in the center practiced for the head. The cloth is dropped onto the body, having the ends so that the arms move freely allowed.

It is believed that the etymological source of the word Poncho comes from the Quechua word Punchu.  But before the Incas, the ponchos existed. The poncho contains in its plot the secret history of the peoples of Peru.

The poncho appears, at least 1000 years before Christ, in Paracas and was used as an offering for the burials. The different pre-Columbian cultures, gave particular importance to the clothes that should accompany you to the afterlife. For those cultures the clothes are made to last beyond death. Were tailored in Alpaca fiber because it would be the only fiber that should come against eternity.

The Peruvian poncho as we know it today, comes from the early XVII century is supposedly a variation of the Unku, a variety of vest with central opening, which would have become a tunic.

Peru is a vast territory with a very different  climatology and as varied as the weather climatology, are the Peruvian ponchos.

Beliefs, culture and habits of the people of Peru can be seen in the shape, size, texture and colors of the ponchos. In some areas of the country small red stripes represent the blood of the son of the Sun and Earth. In other areas, the color white symbolizes the spirit and the black color and blue colors allude to the sky to where the spirit to rest while the green symbolizes agriculture arrives.

The type of poncho called Huañuy was used as a poncho mourning or grief, is designed with small red stripes representing the blood and Earth. The Cushma poncho is a small poncho, used to travel, it’s black or navy blue and edges takes pictures of red, green and white colors.

The heavy ponchos used in Cajamarca not soaked with rain and are as long as those used in Puno. However, in Cuzco, ponchos are much shorter and are renowned for their geometric shapes, often with a red background. In the Peruvian coast, ponchos were used on the plantations, these ponchos are made of cotton fiber.

In the Peruvian jungle, both men and women from some tribes use the cushma, a loose tunic stitched on both sides of the shoulders and embellished with dyes and geometric figures typical of the Amazon.

The poncho is part of everyday life in South America and has been built up in expressions; “Que no te pisen el Poncho/Do not you step on my Poncho” (do not be pushy) …. “Alzar el Poncho/Rearing Poncho” (rebelling against the establishment). Even when we refer to a place far away, the expression is used; “Donde el diablo perdió el Poncho/Where the devil lost his Poncho” …

The poncho is not a trend, not a passing crush that came to be about three or four seasons present in the big brands that decide the march of fashion. The poncho takes thousands of years still fashionable and being a basic garment. The XXI century will be the century of the globalization of peruvian ponchos.

Have you got your poncho? …..

Durability, Variety, eternal fashion. Be Alpaca. Be Peru

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