chaleko musico (Vest)

About this object

History of use

Bayeta is made by males on the treadle loom and is used for garments that are cut to size and sewn, such as trousers, shirts, skirts and vests. The style, the construction and and the loom used are non-indigenous and derive from Spanish peasant tradition. Handspun sheep's wool is the traditional material, but synthetic yarns are now used. Knitting is a technique introduced by the Spanish and done by males on Taquile. The knitted vest fronts are a recent innovation which may have been aimed at the tourist market. However, many men now wear this patterned vest in place of one with plain red fronts which was traditionally worn for some fiestas and special occasions.


Bought from Candelaria Cruz Machaca, widow of maker and user, Augustin Quispe Mamani. Augustin had been the main source of information on the Taquile collection in previous years. The wig (Sf948), shirt (Sf960), hat, and this vest were part of of Augustin's Sikuri costume.

Cultural context

Male Sikuri dancer.

Iconographic meaning

The range of motifs refers to local geography and landmarks, ecology and fecundity, as well as, luck and certain myths. The alternating figures of men and women depict the Sikuri dancers wearing the distinctive feathered hats.

Specific techniques

Plain woven fabric made from synthetic yarns, z-spun, 2-ply s. Cirrcular, plain, knitting used for fronts. Both fabrics are cut to shape and machine stitching is used in the construction.

Physical description

A sleeveless white vest with a half collar and knitted front panels with many small designs worked against red and blue horizontal stripes. Blue, green and yellow florettes joined by white stepped diagonal lines appear against the red stripes. Varied motifs, including men and women holding hands, butterflies, circles, crosses and birds in pink, green and white, appear on the blue stripes. Front closure is by red yarn ties, one of which is missing.