miércoles, 15 de febrero de 2012

La palabra de una amiga de The New York Times...

In the past few months, a surprising number of people have said to me, “Oh, by the way, I’m going to Peru,” as if no further explanation were needed. One thing I do know. While they’re there, they will probably buy a chullo or two, one of those cone-like alpaca pan-Andean hats with earflaps. Judging from the look of New York, a lot of people have been to Peru recently. Gone is the Afghan pakol. Gone is the keffiyeh. This is the winter of the Andean hat.

If there’s a political statement in the chullo, it’s a little hard to decipher. Perhaps it signals indigenousness, international-ness. But what it mostly says is, I don’t care how I look as long as I’m warm. I’ve seen chullos that look like one cup of a knit bikini top and some that make their wearers look like mittenheads, complete with dangling strings. The other day I saw a fur-lined chullo that looked as though it had eaten the elder George Bush’s Russian hat. You can give a fedora a rakish tilt. You can wear a hoodie with sinister élan. But it’s impossible to wear a chullo stylishly. It is to the noggin what a golf club cover is to a 3-wood. It is a bag for the head.

In a way, seeing so many chullos in New York is a little like seeing so many baseball caps on Peruvians and Bolivians — a token of our global inclusiveness, like the Andean musicians you hear in the subways playing what you think is Paul Simon but is really a Peruvian classic.
Perhaps the anti-stylishness of the chullo — its simple functionality — is its politics. The fact is that really cold weather eclipses style. I see men and women wearing earmuffs that look like noseplugs. They are clearly trying to keep their hair kempt. It’s a lost cause. Your hair is not truly your own until warmer days and higher humidity return. Until then, there is no better way to get hat hair than a chullo.

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