Spinning yarn and weaving cloth was a spiritual act in Inca society and Peruvian weaving is unsurpassed anywhere to this day. The finest weavers were brought to Cusco to weave for the royal court of the Inca. These women were then settled in weaving communities in the Sacred Valley where they worked with wool from llamas, alpaca and vicuna to weave the finest cloth in the world. These communities still exist and the descendants of those master weavers at the court of the Royal Inca are still weaving cloth that conquers the world. These skills have evolved over the five-thousand-year history of Peruvian civilization. This level of excellence is one of humanity’s treasures. The Coya was the name of the Inca Queen. She was emblematic of the cultural values that emphasized the role of women in Inca civilization. The women who were court weavers were known as ‘chosen women’. Their present day descendants still say that to be a woman one must know how to spin yarn and weave cloth. The role of the Coya Inca was to be a living example of the greatness of women as manifested by their technical skill, knowledge of tradition, love of beauty and purity of life that bonds them to Pacha Mama, the world mother. This ideal has sustained Peruvian women throughout a turbulent history and these qualities are still strong in the weaving communities of Peru’s Sacred Valley. These are the very qualities they weave into cloth for themselves and their families.

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