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Dress the King


How frequently have we wondered what is a tumi, or a quipu, or a trapelacucha, or a tupo?

Even if these words have strange phonetic sounds, they are all part of the cultural heritage of our America.

The indigenous communities of America, the same as we do today, used to paint, dress and decorate themselves with sumptuous jewels and accessories that, even when displaying great beauty, were often used for sacrifices or rituals. They also made other pieces used for measurement or to distinguish social or political ranks; every object had a purpose.

Native communities crafted ornamental pieces that were utensils or even weapons at the same time.

Great decorative objects but which in turn were utensils and even everyday weapons

People identified and expressed themselves through the colors of their textiles, the designs, the raw materials and the techniques that make up their tradition and their own language.

Extracting and forging metals, obtaining stones, feathers and seeds and fibers to produce fabrics and the dying process, are all decisions that a craftsman makes to transmit an intention or message.

From the Mapuches in the South of Argentina to the Incas in Peru, the countless communities in Amazonia to the Mayas or Aztecas in Mexico, all of them designed, created and invented shapes, aesthetics and ways to tell stories or historical events through their utensils, jewels, objects and attires and through them forged a way to express culture, ideology, ethic identity and their daily reality, their flora, fauna and cosmovision. Each culture in their own style. And all of this has been traced.

Linda Fargo & Marcelo Toledo at Chufy Launch Celebration • Bergdorf Goodman • New York

Their masks, their funeral blankets or sacrifices and offerings to honor their Gods, some of them a great mystery, all of them tell us a story. In this exploration we will discover their symbols, their mythology and esoterism carved in their objects and jewels, in these pieces that were part of their daily attire or the garments they wore for special celebrations.

We will also discover how many of these concepts are today part of the major fashion collections in the world capitals, some images that appears contemporary and innovative were designed centuries ago by the native inhabitants of the continent. And we can go along this exploration guided by the metal artist Marcelo Toledo and his team of specialists.

Immerse yourself, be tempted by the brightness of metals, the inlaid stones and native seeds; learn how to count using a quipu, or simply feel a tumi, an Inca ritual knife in your hands and experience the costumes and fashions of yesterday, today and ever.


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Create your experience

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