Indigenous Clothes in Bolivia

by Frank B. Chavez III

Bolivia is a tiny, landlocked country in South America. More than 60 percent of the country's eight million people are indigenous. They are known for their distinctive style of dress.

Men's Clothing

Indigenous Bolivian men are known for wearing homemade cotton trousers, brightly colored ponchos and woolen caps called chullas. Sandals are the traditional footwear but many go barefoot, even in the cold.

Women's Cothing

Indigenous women in Bolivia are known for an outfit consisting of an apron over layered skirts, a blouse and a colorful multi-purpose shawl. The outfit is topped off by a bowler hat called "bombin" that was adopted from the British.


According to the "New York Times," increasingly urban Bolivian women are giving up wearing traditional clothing everyday and saving it for special occasions. However, when President Evo Morales was elected in 2006, he celebrated in traditional Bolivian costume as a matter of indigenous pride.

About the Author

Frank B. Chavez III has been a professional writer since 2006. His articles have appeared on numerous websites including WitchVox and Spectrum Nexus as well as in the e-magazine Gods and Empires. He has his associate degree with an emphasis in theater arts from Chabot College, where he received the theater department's Joeray Madrid Award for Excellence in Dramaturgy.