Chuspa is a Quechua word meaning purse or bag. Men and women have used chuspas in their different forms for more than 2,000 years. Some highly decorated chuspas are used only for special occasions, as part of the dancers' costumes during festivals. Others are simpler in style and are used primarily by men to carry coca leaves. Both men and women use a smaller chuspa to carry money. Men are rarely without their chuspas, which are finely woven and often have a separate supplemental pocket for llipta, the lime ash catalyst that activates the alkaloids in coca. Quechua clothing lacks pockets and not all chuspas have these special small pockets.
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