José de Acosta praises the textiles of the Andes, 1590

English Translation
The meat of the llama is good, although tough, and that of the suckling llama is one of the best things to eat, and most frequently given as a gift; but they rarely use the animal thus, because the llama's principle use is for its wool, for making clothing, and for its service in carrying burdens. The Indians work the wool to make the clothing they wear, one rough and common type they call hauasca, and another delicate and fine called cumbi. They make table and bed coverings of this cumbi, and tapestries with coats–of–arms and other panels with highly esteemed skill, which last a long time, and have a lovely luster, as if they were part silk, one of the distinct qualities of their way of weaving the llama wool. They weave two–faced cloth when they wish, and neither a thread or loose end visible in the entire piece of cloth. The Inka, the king of Peru, had textile masters to weave his cumbi cloth, and the main ones lived in the district of Capachica, next to the great lake of Titicaca. They use different grasses to give the wool different colors, and with it make various works. And from the rough and workaday fabrics, to those that are polished and sophisticated, all the Indians living in the Andes are masters, having their looms in their houses, never needing to go out and buy, or have made, the clothes that they need for their households.    

Spanish Original
La carne de éstos es buena, aunque recia; la de sus corderos es de las cosas mejores y más regaladas que se comen; pero gástanse poco en esto, porque el principal fruto es la lana para hacer ropa, y el servicio de traer y llevar cargas. La lana labran los indios y hacen ropa de que se visten; una grosera y común que llaman hauasca; otra delicada y fina que llaman cumbi. De este cumbi labran sobremesas y cubiertas, y reposteros y otros paños de muy escogida labor, que dura mucho tiempo y tiene un lustre bueno cuasi de media seda, y lo que es particular de su modo de tejer lana. Labran a dos haces todas las labores que quieren, sin que se vea hilo ni cabo de él en toda una pieza. Tenía el Inga, rey del Pirú, grandes maestros de labrar esta ropa de cumbi, y los principales residían en el repartimento de Capachica, junto a la laguna grande de Titicaca. Dan con yerbas diversas diversos colores y muy finos a esta lana, con que hacen varias labores. Y de labor basta y grosera, o de pulida y sutil, todos los indios e indias son oficiales en la sierra, teniendo sus telares en su casa, sin que hayan de ir a comprar ni a dar a hacer la ropa que han menester para su casa.    








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