Headdresses during the andean civilization

The headdress constituted one of the most distinctive elements of andean costume. Diverse ancient peruvian cultures have left us a legacy of stunning turbans, caps, helmets and diadems.

After creating the Andean World, one of Lord Wirakocha’s first acts was to costume each nation. It should come as no surprise then that the Spanish conquistador chronicles of the 16th century coincide in emphasizing that the different Andean peoples recognized one another by their attire. Special garments were also worn for certain events, festivities and ceremonies; however, clothing served essentially as a marker of social identity or of individual membership to an ethnic group. One of the most distinctive elements of Andean costume was the headdress. Numerous early Andean stories mention that the divine beings and the founding heroes of the region’s peoples wore special caps or diadems, and all of the mythical personages represented through ancient rock sculptures, in textiles, and on metallic artifacts, pottery, and engraved wood or bone objects inevitably exhibited complex headdresses as emblems of status. Rulers and prominent dignitaries wore special headdresses as a sign of their high rank, and the governed used headdresses that expressed their allegiance to a particular nation or people. The Paracas, Nazca, Wari, Chimú and other cultures have bequeathed to us beautiful, remarkably conserved turbans, caps, helmets and diadems. Consequently, it can be affirmed that headdresses were a part of Andean civilization from its most remote origins. This was also the case for the pre-Hispanic cultures of Northern Chile.