Allku, Quechua for dog, is a group of Ecuadorian artisans and dog lovers striving to create a high quality product for dogs and their human companions which is durable and fashionable and carries with it the strong cultural identity and traditions of the Otavalo people of Ecuador.
From high in the Andes mountains, the Otavaleños have thrived in the regions of northern Ecuador since long before the rise of the Inca Empire. The Otavalo people have a long tradition of artisanal culture, indeed legend has it that the Otavaleños were known across the region as the best textile makers for generations before the Inca invasion in the late 15th century.
Dogs held a particularly important place in ancient society. The Inca believed that a 'black dog companion' helped guide the spirits of the dead along the long dark road on the path to reincarnation. Without their dog guide, the spirits of the deceased would be forever lost, unable to complete the transition back in to a living being. Today, while they don't hold the same mystical position they once did, dogs are a critical part of agriculture, prevalent across the Ecuador, Peru, parts of Colombia and Bolivia.