Within Inca society was a special class called acllyaconas, or “chosen women”. At around age ten, these young women were selected for their physical beauty and sent to schools to learn spinning, weaving, cooking, and other domestic duties. Those considered physically perfect were sacrificed to the Inca gods. Those who were not as perfect served as temple attendants or secondary wives of the Incan king. Some became mamaconas, or teachers of other chosen women.

One of the most important duties of the chosen women was the production of cloth. Another was the production of “chicha”, a cloudy fermented beer made primarily from corn. Although they had no personal freedom and were strictly controlled by the government, the chosen women were highly respected for their service to the empire.


The Inca Bag helps preserve and celebrate Andean textiles while assisting weavers in carrying on a tradition practiced for more than 2000 years.

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