Peru // Arequipa and Lake Titicaca //

Hats in the Colca Canyon


The indigenous communities of the Colca Canyon form two distinct ethnic groups: the Aymara-speaking Collaguas and the Quechua-speaking Cabanas. Traditionally, both groups used different techniques for deforming the heads of their children. The Collaguas elongated them and the Cabanas flattened them – each trying to emulate the shape of their respective principal apu (mountain god). Today it is the shape of their hats (taller for the Collaguas and round, flat ones for the Cabanas), rather than heads, which mainly distinguishes the two groups.

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