The Colca Canyon in southern Peru, is claimed to be the deepest canyon in the world, almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the US. This region is located at north of Arequipa and south of Cusco. Chivay is the biggest town in the region. Deep in the mountains, the Inca traditions here are little altered. The locals still cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces built into the slopes.
The natural scenery of this area is simply breathtaking (literally as well ;) - each time when you hike for any beautiful view, it takes your breath away due to the high elevation) - imagine the majestic high mountains shrouded in mist, the crystal clear creek flowing at the bottom of the deep canyons, and the condors soaring above your heads. When the sky is clear, you can also see the snow-capped volcanoes 🌋 in distance...
I will show you the landscape photos in another post in future, today I’d like to share with you first the unique traditional clothing of the locals in Cabanaconde, a small village in Colca Canyon which I stayed a few days as a base to explore the surrounds. In Chivay, this bigger town, people's clothes are more varied in style as a result of the mixed population. I will write about the market in Chivay in the coming days, where you would see people wearing wider varieties of clothes. :)
👆I clicked this photo with my phone in a local bus from Peru's second most populous city Arequipa to Cabanaconde. The lady in the photo got in the full bus somewhere on the way, and stood in front of my seat for the rest of her trip. In fact, the whole corridor of the bus was full of local passengers, some standing, others sitting on the floor. And even more people managed to get in: eager vendors who tried to sell all kinds of stuff - snacks, watches, herbs...; a passionate propagator who preached for hours without any break... It’s getting crowded, while it's interesting to see all this drama unrolling in front of me. It felt like a real-life stage for a mix of magical shows - this is also the charm of South America. =)
Ok, let me come back to the lady standing next to me: this is my first impression of the traditional clothing of the Colca Canyon people. The Canyon extends over a large area, so the clothing style is slightly different in different villages. As you can see, her vest is intricately embroidered, and her colorful hat has distinctive patterns on it.
Later when I arrived at Cabanaconde(it’s a looooong hard journey delayed due to the flooded road - this sheer adventure deserves another post), aha, I found almost all elderly women wearing their traditional clothing - a pretty hat decorated with detailed embellishments, matched by the similarly patterned vest, with or without a piece of solid-colored fabric at the upper part, and a long, layered dress mostly in bright blue or red, with embroidered fringe. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
At first, I thought their hats were soft and easy to fold up, until I tried one out in a small eatery in Cabanaconde. The owner family was also making the traditional hats, and the friendly owner let curious me try one hat on. The hat was actually pretty hard with a fixed shape, and it’s not so light as I imagined. In this high elevation area, the wide rim in front must have worked well in blocking some high UV rays.
It's interesting that it's the man in this family who was making these traditional layered dresses. Like what I happened to see on a street in the village:
I noticed younger women in the village don't usually wear the traditional vest or dress, but the hat was still a common sight:
That’s it for today’s post about the traditional clothing in Cabanaconde. Hope you like it! Have you ever been to this beautiful region in Peru? What kind of traditional clothing impressed you in your travels? Feel free to comment below. Until next time! =)
图文 by Donica多
Photos shot with Canon EOS Kiss X3 & iPhone 7