By Kate McIntosh, Service Traveler

 

Pallay is both the process of weaving textiles on a backstrap loom and the iconography woven into each textile. Each pallay is richly symbolic of Quechua life and cultural beliefs.  The pallay pattern in this vibrant textile features two qocha, the Quechua word for lake. Glacier fed lakes and lagoons are essential to Quechua life in the mountainous highlands, and are therefore heavily featured pallay in traditional textiles. They are considered sacred, life-sustaining waters, and also represent agricultural and ritual cycles. At Awamaki, we were so taken with the qocha pallay that we used it as the basis of our organization’s logo!