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Collasuyu Collection – 2012: jewelry, accessories and clothing

The new collection 2012 that Acllahuasi presents is inspired in the unku of the inka period found in the Collasuyu –the part of the Tahuantisuyu territory that encompassed what is today Chile down to the Maule river and the northeast of Argentina- principally the checkered unku and the unku with the inka key.

What is an unku

The unku was a male clothing piece similar to a tunic that was used by men in the Andean region and that consists of one piece weaved with a opening in the middle for the head to go through and sewed on the sides leaving a space on each side for the arms.

Types of unku

Different types of unku exist and they are classified depending on the motifs they have on them. Two of them known as: “the checkered unku with a red yoke” and the “unku with the inka key,” were found relatively frequently and some have been found clothing the small sacrificed male figures in the sanctuaries of the highlands of what is today Chile and the Argentinean northeast. These unku are associated with important inka dignitaries linked to the nobility, because they symbolized status and linage of the person who wore it. Moreover, both the checkered unku and the inka key motive are tokapu, meaning inka ideograms that can be considered as a form of writing.

The Acllahuasi Collection

Acllahuasi, thanks to the support of Innova Chile-CORFO, tried to re-signify the importance of said clothing and its motives, creating a collection inspired on the checkered unku and the inka key.

In order to achieve this, we created two lines, which include clothing, accessories, and jewelry that can be combined made with materials like wool, linen, rayon and alpaca fabrics, and 950 silver to name some. The base of our strategy was to respect the original combination of colors and re-interpret the designs.