Photograph of a Quechua woman
concentrating on spinning using a drop spindle (whorl) to spin wool into thread.
Quechua women commonly spin wool while walking, thus completing two tasks at the
same time. Drop spindles are essentially primitive spinning tools and
until about 1000 years ago, drop spindles were virtually the only tool used to
spin wool, cotton and other fibers. The modern spinning wheel is rarely
used in the Andes by Quechua people and the drop spindle is still the primary
tool used in isolated areas in the mountains of Peru. Note also the traditional woman's hat that the woman is wearing that is called a
"montera" in Quechua. The "monera" varies in style from region to region.