A long-lasting tradition of craftsmanship

Peru’s craftsmanship is the richest and most diverse in Latin America. It got its character from the mixture of local cultures that had inhabited the area, long before Columbus arrived to the continent in 1492.

A bit of history

Before Spanish conquistadores arrived in the current territory of Peru, the Inca Empire was in full motion, at its maximum of expansion, ranging from nowadays Colombia in the north to mid-land Chile in the south. However, the empire did not start from ground zero but from previously established groups, all of them with their traditions and costumes. Craftsmanship being one of them.

These tribes go back in time to the 1st century AD. They developed a high level of knowledge on the forging of different materials, including silver as main precious metal. In the beginning, the objects they created were intended to pay tribute to their divinities or leaders; however, after some time, they started to make other silver utensils for daily tasks and life, such as vases, plates, and jewelry.

Later, when Incas started to join and merge these tribes into their newly formed empire, they continued to promote their local traditions of silver forging, with emphasis on its use during religious ceremonies. After that, when Spaniards arrive, local craftsmen had to relearn some techniques to embed a European touch on it. The new articles they developed were exported to Europe, where Peru started to gain a reputation for its high-quality silver crafts until nowadays.

The Lord of Sipan. A great example

In the north of Peru, in Lambayeque region, there was an important leader who reigned around 300 CE. His jewelry and ornaments, which included headdresses, a face mask, a pectoral (golden and with the head of a man and the body of an octopus), necklaces, nose rings, earrings, and other items, indicate he was of the highest rank. Most of the ornaments were made of gold, silver, copper, and semi-precious stones.

Looking at his tomb, we can see the high level of quality and technique his fellow citizens had. These skills have fortunately been preserved until our days, in some case cases from parents to kids, generation after generation.

Our role at Qullqi

With every single piece, Qullqi wants first, to keep Peru’s ancient tradition of silver forging, and second, show to Europe the high-quality products Peruvian artisans can bring to life. Same as the latest purpose of old tribes, we believe beautiful jewelry does not need to wait for special occasions to be worn. We aim to bring silver necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings for women’s daily wear, to accompany them in their daily activities, so they can be proud of the story behind their Qullqi jewels.

Did you know how rich and traditional Peruvian silver crafting was? We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or continue the conversation by sharing this article with your friends and family.

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