traditional cusco clothing

Traditional Cusco clothing

Peru is home to countless unique cultural aspects, all bathed in a history that dates back thousands of years. It is impossible to deny the great cultural heritage of Peru, even with the passage of time and continuous globalization it has not lost depth. It could be said that its culture is stronger than ever, knowing how to distinguish itself among its Latin American neighbors. They even continue to proudly wear their traditional clothing. And that is why together with the experts from Cusco Peru Travel we have proposed a small article about the most popular examples of traditional clothing.

Examples of traditional clothing in Peru


The traditional clothing you can appreciate today is influenced by both pre-Hispanic traditions and colonial styles of clothing that were brought to Peru. What is considered traditional today is a combination of two major influences. The women usually wear brightly colored embroidered skirts, jackets, and cardigans. You can also see them wearing capes or shawls, and Andean hats. They will always try to combine those traditional clothes with some more modern ones. The customs related to traditional men’s clothing have been much more lost in time, but older people still choose to honor their traditions and customs. After touring the many tourist attractions in Cusco, dare to dress like a local. It is not required, but it can be a lot of fun to try.


lliclla in the traditional cusco clothing

Lliclla is a Quechua word that translated means “cloak”, although it is also often called Manta. This traditional clothing is often worn by Andean women. Lliclla is usually a textile that covers the back and shoulders of Peruvian women. They are usually fixed to the front with pins or Tupu, or simply by wearing it tied. This traditional Peruvian cloak is also used to carry children on women’s backs. Men and women often use them to carry goods. If the fabric is specifically designed to carry larger loads, then its name is K’eperina. If you are a woman, dressing like a local can be one of the funniest things to do in Cusco.


chumpi in the traditional cusco clothing

Women traditionally use Chumpi to fasten their skirts. The word Chumpi translates to belt. Men can also use them to support their lower back and tighten their pants when carrying heavy objects. Chumpis is also used to protect swaddled babies.


jobona in the traditional cusco clothing

These are the little jackets that women wear under the Lliclla. They are usually very brightly colored and have other bright patterns that are woven into the jacket. Some of them will also have colored buttons and trim that complement the overall design. These traditional clothes are the equivalent of traditional wool jackets. The traditions in Peru can continue to be seen in their costumes, music, and dances.


polleras in the traditional cusco clothing

The skirts are a type of traditional clothing common in Andean women. These are the famous skirts that women always wear. They are usually long, flowing black skirts that usually reach to the ankles and are always decorated with bright stitching and colorful designs.


monteras in the traditional cusco clothing

Monteras is a word from the native Quechua language that when translated means hat. In many cases, it is possible to identify which village or region the woman comes from just by looking at the hat. These hats are paired with a woven strap commonly called Sanq’apa, decorated with white beads. The strap holds the hat under the chin and keeps it stable. In some museums in Cusco, you can find exhibits with some ancient Monteras, as well as other examples of traditional clothing.


ojotas in the traditional cusco clothing

The Ojotas are sandals made with recycled tires. They are also known as Yanquis. Many foreigners when they first see Andean people with these sandals, they believe that it would be better for them to wear shoes. But the Andean people feel very comfortable with these sandals and their feet are well adapted to the cold. Besides, depending on the region, these can be accompanied by socks.


chuspa in the traditional cusco clothing

The Chuspa is similar to a bag or backpack. Today it is used to carry a variety of everyday items, however, most likely it was used to transport coca leaves during the time of the Inca Empire. Coca leaves helped others cope with altitude sickness and give an energy boost. In some Luxury Peru tours, you will be offered the opportunity to visit some of the most popular markets to get to know this and other wonderful traditional clothes.


poncho in the traditional cusco clothing

The poncho is a kind of blanket that, thanks to its central opening, can be attached to the body while still offering wide freedom of movement. The fabric of the poncho (which is usually made of wool) simply falls on the individual, who can easily reach his arms at the ends. The typical poncho of Cusco is short and they are generally woven with various geometric figures that have their respective meanings in the Andean culture. If you are going to visit Cusco, you will most likely see both foreigners and locals wearing the classic Ponchos.


chullo in the traditional cusco clothing

The best-known article of traditional clothing is Chullo. It is a kind of knitted hat with ear flaps to make sure to keep all the warmth. This item dates back to colonial times and is mostly worn by highland men as they used to spend more time in the cold due to agricultural activities. Today you can find them almost anywhere in Peru, but the best quality can be found in Cusco in the San Pedro market. They are often made with alpaca fur, one of the softest materials in the world.


These are just some of the traditional clothes that are part of the Peruvian culture. But if you are looking to know how the locals dress, it is better that you experience it with your eyes. In the regions around Cusco, you can recognize many of these mentioned clothes. We hope together with the experts of Cusco Peru Travel to have satisfied your curiosity. If you want to know more about our tours in Peru, you can ask our qualified advisors.

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