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Threads of Peru Blog

Tradition is the Democracy of the Dead

Out with the old and in with the new?

For some, maybe. But at Threads of Peru, we are not trying to obliterate the old. Rather, we honor the idea that “tradition is the democracy of the dead.” It is through tradition that our ancestors continue to have a say in how the future of society unfolds. 

By incorporating the wisdom of the ancients into the present, we honor the life experiences, skills, and art of those who came before us.

At Threads of Peru, we value and respect the Quechua weaving tradition immensely. This tradition, which started centuries ago, was passed down through many generations, and has continued for thousands of years. 

Quechua weaver and cat- a timeless tradition



 This modern day weaver continues ancient traditions, using knowledge imparted by folks who are long gone

  Hand-woven pieces, like our Sapa scarves, are much more than just beautiful garments. They connect the weaver to her past. And they connect us to the weaver’s rich heritage as well.The colors of the Sapa, for instance, tell a story about Pachamama, Mother Earth. Invoking Pachamama through weaving at once expresses our present respect for Mother Earth and acknowledges the continuity of a tradition that revered the cycles of the natural world. Those who came before us speak through these textiles and impact the ways in which we see and interact with the world today.

Sapa alpaca scarf



 This young woman has created a unique look by combining our Sapa Scarf with a very modern leather jacket. 


he weavings we make at Threads of Peru are not the same as those that were made in the past. They have been adapted over time to modern ideas, tastes, and preferences.


But despite the differences, these textiles continue the story begun before the time of the Inca, through the symbols (pallay), incorporated in their design, the plant dyes whose secrets were uncovered by the ancients, and the techniques that thrive basically unchanged from those that originated centuries ago.

Young Andean woman demonstrating spinning technique

 This young Andean women demonstrates the very ancient spinning technique that has remained unchanged throughout the centuries. 


It is our mission at Threads to honor that heritage and its continuity with the present. That’s why we follow slow fashion principles, taking the time needed to create high quality, relevant modern products using the ancient ways.

Ancient traditions continue- Chris Roche 

 Ancient traditions being passed on to the youngsters among these present day Andean villagers. Photo Courtesy Chris Roche. 


So, yes, the dead do have a voice: they speak to us today by means of ancient traditions brought to life—reminding us of the timeless continuity of the human experience of life, art, and beauty. Generations pass, but humanity at its essence remains the same.

Circle of Weavers- honoring the Pachamama

 Cirlce of Weavers- Honoring the Pachamama and the old ways. Photo courtesy Jordan Putt.