Mantos, Sayas and Golden Buckles: The Tapado Fashion in Viceregal Peru

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Abstract

Fashion in viceregal Peru not only played a pivotal role in the process of identity construction and social mobility, it was also the source for significant literary and discursive production. Satirists, intellectuals, song and playwrights as well as travelers, ecclesiastical authorities and legislators wrote about the myriad fashions used among the women of colonial Peru. Popular trends such as the tapado fashion, which consisted of manto, a saya and a pair of small and delicate shoes, were according to these authors and lawmakers, the root of “immoral behavior, great offenses to God and notable harm to the republic.” For these reasons, several ordinances issued by city councils, the audiencia (the royal court of justice), and the different viceroys of Peru attempted to curtail what was seen as excessive and dangerous fashions. This legislation, however, had little resonance among the majority of the female population as shown by the extant literature produced about women’s disregard
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-70
JournalMonographic Review
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

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