manta (Head Cloth)

About this object

History of use

The tradition of regionally distinctive dress is still a feature of some of the remote villages of highland Peru. The costumes are a mixture of Spanish influence with surviving indigenous aspects and materials. This type of manta, often with less embroidery and less colour (or possibly turned inside out), is typical of everyday wear and is seen everywhere in Tinta. It is laid on the head, framing the face, and extends down the back in the longest direction, held in place with a flat hat with a chin strap.


Tinta costumes were for sale in the Cuzco market, made for the tourist trade.

Cultural context

worn by women

Physical description

Head cloth formed by three differently sized pieces of black fine twill wool fabric sewn together with blue thread and embroidered with a multicoloured geometric and floral motif border. A narrow red cotton band embroidered with a series of white circles covers the edges.