In the Andean Region of Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, typical costumes stand out for their vivid colors, textures and shapes. In what follows we will tell you what is the traditional clothing and accessories of this area in each of the countries mentioned above.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

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Typical costumes of the Andean Region

Bolivian Andes

The Andean Region of Bolivia is the territory that ranges from the Andean Altiplano to the Andes Mountains.



The most characteristic women's costume of the Bolivian Andes is that of skirt, which consists of a pleated skirt that is characterized by its bright colors and by having different motifs and designs, usually floral.

In reality, this costume was, in its origins, a traditional Spanish dress that the colonial authorities imposed on indigenous women. The skirt suit is currently considered a symbol of indigenous pride.

In the following video we can see a group of musicians from the Bolivian Andes dressed in typical clothes of the area:

Also the costume known as Hello It is common in the women of the Bolivian Andes, which consists of a long pleated skirt, an embroidered blouse and a ruana, a kind of shawl typical throughout the Andes Mountains.

Under the skirt, women wear a crinoline, which consists of a bustle that they wear underneath so that the skirt is bulky.

In addition, women, especially those from indigenous villages such as the Quechua or the Aymara, wear the chola costume with a bowler hat, that is, a semi-spherical felt hat and a low, rigid crown, a custom that dates back to the 1920s.

Men traditionally wear cloth pants, a fabric that is made from wool, and the so-called chumpi, which consists of a kind of belt that is tied around the waist used mainly to protect the lower back during long hours of agricultural work.

Finally, the men of the Bolivian Andes wear a juyuna, which is a vest made of wool and decorated on the front with various buttons.

The famous Oruro's Carnival, religious celebration that has been declared Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Thus, to this day, it is not only the most important festival in Bolivia, but one of the most remarkable in all of South America.

The city of Oruro, whose name derives from the ancient Uru civilization, is the folkloric capital of Bolivia and that is why this celebration takes place in which the dance or ritual draws special attention. Tinku, in which the bright colors of the suits stand out.

Colombian Andes

The Andean Region of Colombia is divided into thirteen departments: Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Huila, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Quindío, Risaralda, Santander, Tolima and Valle del Cauca.

Although in each region of the Colombian Andes there is a specific costume because each has its own festivities and traditional dances, there is a common garment: the so-called Ruane.

This garment consists of a kind of cape similar to the usual poncho of the charro costume in the traditional mexican dress. In the following video you can see an interpretation of the guaneña, a typical dance of the Colombian Andes in which they wear a characteristic costume:

The ruana is made from lana and the way to wear it is as follows: it wraps either around both shoulders, or around one shoulder and hanging slightly from the other. The origin of this garment is most likely due to a hybrid between the long chibcha ponchos used by the Muisca indigenous people and the Spanish cape.

In addition to the ruana, in Boyacá and Antioquia, for example, it is common for the Boyacá peasant to wear denim pants, a cotton shirt, espadrilles and the popular hat with tapia tread, Antioqueño hat or paisa hat.

Women usually wear a long black skirt made with presses and adorned with bright colors and ribbons, so that the skirt has different reliefs and textures.



Ecuadorian Andes

The Ecuadorian Andes comprise a territory known as Ecuadorian Sierra In which towns whose origin dates back to the Incas coexist in the following towns: Pichincha, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cañar, Azuay, Tungurahua, Loja, Cotopaxi and Bolívar.

Although the typical clothing of this territory varies according to the cities that comprise it, it is true that the clothing of its inhabitants is characterized by being warm (jackets, coats, warm footwear ...). The indigenous communities of the Ecuadorian Sierra they maintain the traditional clothing of their ancestors, among which the use of ponchos or ruanas is not lacking.

As for women, it is very traditional for them to wear the popular anaco, a kind of blanket that wraps around the waist and reaches the heels.

An embroidered girdle is placed on top of the anaco so that it is at the waist. At the top, the usual is to wear a white and very loose shirt. The footwear is the famous espadrilles, made of fabric and reed fiber.

As for men's clothing, this is simpler than women's, since it consists of short pants at the ankles and white, combined with a white shirt.

On top of this shirt they usually wear a typical Andean ruana or poncho to protect themselves from the cold. Like women, men also wear espadrilles.

Peruvian Andes

The Peruvian Andes constitute the central part of the Andes Mountains and are also known as Sierra, Serrania Or simply, Andean region.

The Peruvian Andes connect to the south with the Andean Region of Bolivia, which is why the culture, crafts and clothing of its inhabitants share broad features with that of the Bolivian Andes.

La aymara tribe or Aymara is one of the indigenous peoples of South America with greater presence in the Cordillera de los Andes, especially in Bolivia and Peru.

The Aymara, like the rest of the Andean populations, share the ability to make brightly colored fabrics that result, among others, in the famous ponchos or ruanas.

In the language of the Aymara, their clothing is called Aymar Isinaka and in it are common:

  • Blankets
  • Chacha Lluch'u (kind of woolen cap)
  • Aguayos (typical cloth of the Andean region made with multicolored lines that contrast with each other)
  • Tari
  • chacha whiskey or men's sandals
  • Pollera (typical women's skirt)
  • Juyuna

The anaco is also a typical outfit among the women of the Peruvian Sierra, more specifically, in the city of Tacna, where it is known as Anaco of Camilaca, in which red and black colors predominate.

Women often wear this costume especially during holidays, such as Carnivals or Easter, and it is considered to be a symbol through which it is intended to exalt the presence of the indigenous population of Peru. The process of creating an Anaco de Camilaca is complex and very laborious.

The typical costumes of the city of Abancay also stand out, as well as those of the cavalcades that are celebrated during the festivities of Cuzco or Cusco, a city located on the eastern slope of the Peruvian Andes.

La Cuzco Textilery constitutes one of the most deeply-rooted Andean crafts today, which includes the classic loom known as aguayo, chumpi, llicla and the chuspa (kind of small bag).

The feminine attire of the woman from the Department of Cuzco is known as typical cusqueño costume, consisting of a red sweater that contrasts with the black color of the black cloth skirt edged with wool ribbons whose thickness, motifs and colors vary according to the design of each suit.

The skirt, in most cases, is actually made with several superimposed skirts. In the upper part, women usually use handmade vests that attract attention for their bright colors and the details of their design.

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