These expansive textiles, known as Mantas or sometimes Mantra cloths, serve a variety of purposes within the realm of spiritual practice. They are often larger in size compared to mesa cloths and are sometimes even referred to as altar cloths or altars themselves. Additionally, the term "Table" is used to describe a ritual altar that can be covered with these cloths.
Mantas and altar cloths play a significant role in creating sacred spaces. They are used to set the main altar for rituals and ceremonies, and they can also serve as a comfortable seat for meditation.
Our partnership with the indigenous Q’ero people in Peru allows us to offer you some of the most powerful and meaningful textile weavings, including Altar Manta Cloths. The Q’ero are descendants of the ancient Incas, and their medicine people, known as "Paqos," continue the tradition of crafting these story-telling textiles with their hands. This cultural heritage and spiritual connection infuse these textiles with deep significance and resonance.
The definition of an Altar Cloth is simple but some times misleading. It is a sacred cloth of any size for any use. A Mestana or Mesa means the planes. The Altar, is Sacred; the very meaning is that it is respected as sacred and known to many as sacred. So a Manta Cloth is an Altar cloth. Locals sometimes reference these cloths as table cloths, not as in a table cloth but the table of your altar, your sacredness. The meanings woven into the cloths generally depict, family, area, stature, and energy such as water, the sun, or a particular power like the sun or the stars, or it's vibrancy or calmness.
By weaving these beautiful and meaningful stories, these medicine men and women are preserving and sharing their healing knowledge, beliefs and traditions. Their main philosophy is “Ayni”, which means reciprocity and include balance and harmony with the Earth and with each other.
The Q’ero follow the Shamanic path of honoring all relations as sacred, including plant, stone and animal. They are progressive thinkers who live with reverence and respect for Mother Earth, called “Pachamama” in their native language, Quechua, and are dedicated to preserving this beautiful planet for generations to come.
We invite you to experience their heartfelt creations as part of your spiritual practice for your prayer bundles, ceremonies and rituals. These textile weavings are also stunning for display or decorative uses. These textiles are naturally dyed (do not bleed) and are woven in sheep or alpaca fine wools using very fine weave that is hand woven.