Peru: Man and woman (Andes region)

Andean pair

General description Andean man and woman dressed in the traditional costume of the region. They are both standing on wooden blocks. The woman is carrying a simple form of wool spinning equipment.

Date when acquired: 2009

Original Date: Unknown

Source: Bought by Fritz from a Bochum flea market, Germany.


The dolls’ heads and bodies are made out of clay (terracotta?), while their arms and legs are made of wire bound with brown string. The woman’s hair is painted on the head but at the front she has two plaits made of black wool. The man’s hair is also painted but black at the back and grey at the front. Their facial features are painted.

Female doll

Dimensions: 22 cm x 9.0 cm x 5.0 cm

Back view


The woman has a cream-coloured woven woollen skirt (pollera) on. It is ornamented with a strip of light brown material sewn on with white zigzags at the bottom (puyto). Above this is a piece of blue wool and a piece of red wool sewn on around the skirt with grey zigzags. She is wearing a long-sleeved red blouse with two lines of blue wool on the front, again sewn on with grey zigzags. Under her skirt is a purple petticoat with yellow embroidery on the edge.

Over her blouse is a black woollen shawl (lliclla) with thick red wool sewn around the edges with yellow zigzags. A line of yellow wool is on each of the shawl’s front edges.

On her head is a hat (montera) with the brim curled up, one of the various types typical of this region. The underside of the hat is in a tan brown with a black, pink and green braid around the edge. Two red, purple and white braids hang down each side of her face (which may be the sanq’apa straps). The crown of the hat is painted black with a geometrical design in white and red.

view of crown
Crown of woman’s hat showing painted design


The doll is carrying her spinning equipment in her hands, a simple stick (spindle) and a length of light blue wool.


Male doll

Dimensions: 23 cm x 7.0 cm x 5.0 cm


The male doll is wearing black felt three-quarter trousers (bayeta) with a piece of green wool sewn on with a black zigzag around each end of the legs. The trousers are held up by a band twisted out of yellow and red wool.

On top, he has a purple woollen poncho with white wool embroidered on with yellow zigzags around the edges and two lines of red wool and yellow wool sewn with yellow zigzags going up the back and down the front. Under his poncho, he is wearing a shirt made of the same material as the woman’s blouse. The shirt has a piece of material which sticks up over the back of his neck, reaching to his hairline.

He is wearing a woven cap with earflaps (chullo) typical of this region. The cap is red with white embroidered on the edge. The tall peak of the cap has a tassel (t’ika) made of red, yellow and blue wool. This means this couple possibly comes from the Ausangate region as the man’s chullo has the tassels typical of this region.

Quena (Andean flute)


He is carrying a bamboo flute or quena in his hands.

The quena is the traditional flute of the Andes. It is usually made of bamboo or wood. It has 6 finger holes and one thumb hole and is open at both ends, though there are no indications of this on the doll’s flute. To produce sound, the player closes the top end of the pipe with the flesh between his chin and lower lip, and blows a stream of air downward, along the axis of the pipe, over an elliptical notch cut into the end (very different from blowing into a European flute). The quena is normally in the key of G, with G being the lowest note (all holes covered). It produces a very breathy or airy tone.


Source(s) of information

See Peru: General information

(6.5.1 & 6.5.2)



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