Andean Pŭllŏs

For centurues the local communities of the South American Altiplano have handwoven fabrics that stand in colorful contrast to the soft shades of the stunning scenery.

The blistering sun, the thin air and the crystal blue skies of the high Andean Mountains made their fierce colors fade, telling us their part of history.

Traditionally these talking textiles are called camas, frazadas, or in the local Quechua language - “pŭllŏs.” Not one textile is the same—each is home and handmade, and naturally dyed—yet it’s distinctive color-pattern and style gives away the communities’ cultural identity and location in the vast area. 

“ The color bright yellow could be made out of corn, the color green is mostly made from the much-loved pepper tree, and many bright colors stem from local flower and vegetables. The availability of the kind of crops people used to grow around them gave rise to the use of particular color-patterns” tells our local colleague Donatella. 

The tradition of weaving camas goes back more than 500 years and presents a pre-Hispanic form of communication. “I still sleep under my grandmothers "pŭllŏ” when I go back to my birth village Taquina. Believe it or not, this blanket goes back 8 or 9 generations of mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. In my village we feel that bright green, pink, yellow, egg-plant and red are the main colors of our identity.

Looking for co-creators

Perk Amsterdam is an initiative of the art tree and brings a textile collection, made of vintage and antique traditional fabrics. We are currently looking for co-creators: from yoga studio’s, cafe’s, hotels to hospitals or stores—places and spaces where we can share these talking textiles, who lift up spirits and transmit positive energy—and so support the local community and conservation for the natural area.