Handmade pouch, called a chuspa or huallqui, used by the Quechua people of Peru to carry medicinal plant leaves and other small items. Medicinal plant leaves have been chewed by indigenous people in South America for thousands of years as a stimulant and source of nutrition. Crafted of brown leather with black sueded reverse and fitted with a smaller leather pouch inside. Flap is decorated with 2 animal figures that have padded leather bodies, standing against red and blue wool insets outlined in white stitching and punctuated with metal eyelets. Rawhide leather strips provide a carrying strap, strung through tabs sewn to the top of the pouch's back, and a thong for tying the flap closed. Acquired near Cuzco, Peru, in the early 1970s. Excellent example of Andean mountain handwork and evocative of the long cultural tradition of medicinal plant use in the region.
Good vintage condition. Surface wear, nicks, few small holes in wool. Pouch looks well used but exhibits a great deal of character.
5.25" L x 5.75" W
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