Selected Quotations from the Spanish Chroniclers

“The Maker gave each nation its own costume and dress, hairstyle (short or long), language, songs, seeds and food; thus, each nation ‘is dressed and wears the costume that it was originally given.’” (Cristóbal de Molina, 1572).

“[And] this city [of Cuzco] was full of foreigners and travelers, since there were Indians from Chile, Pasto, cañares, chachapoyas, guancas, collas, and of the other lineages in the aforementioned provinces, and those of each lineage kept to the place and part marked out for them by the city’s rulers. These groups upheld their parents’ customs and dressed according to their lands, and had there been one hundred thousand men, they would have been easily distinguished by the signs worn on their heads.” (La Crónica del Perú, Pedro Cieza de León, 1553).

“Inga Manco Capac […] ordered that the dress and costume of each people should be different, as with their speech, [in order] to be known, because in this time, it was not possible to see and to know from what nation or settlement the Indians came.” (Relación de antigüedades deste Reyno del Perú, J. de Santacruz Pachacuti, 1613).

“The men and women of every nation and province had their emblems and signs by which they were known and could not go without them or exchange them with those of other nations without suffering grave consequences.” (Historia del Nuevo Mundo, P. Bernabé Cobo, 1653).

“This sign was worn as part of clothing, with different stripes and colors; the men, another more prominent one on their heads, with each nation differentiating itself through its headdress.” (La crónica del Perú, Pedro Cieza de León, 1553)

“It is Yunga land where there are often a large number of Chinca Indians to be found […] They wear cotton of many colors, and a colored woolen hank on their heads, over their hair, and some, a huaraca [sling shot].” (Los orígenes de los incas, Martín de Murúa, 1590).

“[T]hose of one corner of the lagoon wear caps on their heads that are higher than one palm, and as wide at the top as at their base; those of the other part wear caps that are narrow at the top and wide at their base.” (Relación del descubrimiento y conquista de los reinos del Perú, Pedro Pizarro, 1571).