Blankets known as ‘frazadas’, play an important role in the Andean region of Peru. Traditionally, these colourful blankets were woven to celebrate the birth of a child or the marriage of a daughter and are full of cultural references and significance. The colours and type of weaving typically represented the person the blanket was made for. Bright colours were for lively, happy characters and some frazadas were woven with the name of the person and the year the weaving was made.
Mariano who runs the Puskana Wasi textile store along with his family, explained the symbology in a ‘cachín’ blanket to me. It tells the story of the famous Tupac Amaru and his quest to end the poor treatment of indigenous people. The red colour represents the spilling of blood and black the violence and slavery. These frazadas are a real piece of history with most blankets at least twenty to thirty years old.
Mariano and the Mogollon Holgado family travel to isolated rural communities around the region where they source these colourful frazadas and weavings. The Puskana Wasi store in Pisac has by far the best selection of these frazadas and traditional weavings in town. Frazadas can be used as blankets, throws and rugs and are a nice meaningful souvenir to take home from Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
They also have a selection of more commonly found souvenirs including woven purses, scarves and jewellery but the biggest draw are the frazadas and weavings.
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- The shop is packed from floor to ceiling with textiles and weavings, but don’t let this put you off! Find Mariano or his wife Asunta and ask them to show you some of their best pieces. You will leave with a little piece of local history between your hands!