Saturday, August 21, 2010

Vicuna Chaco in Picotani Part 2


After the vicunas were led into a small corral, we were then lead in to the community center with the entire community sitting around the perimeter of a large room; we honored guests
got chairs! A group of local musicians inmatching vests with intarsia'd vicunas sang for
us.


Then, the children, dressed in traditional costumes which perhaps were Sunday best danced a story for us.


At that point there was more formal dipping of coca leaves in to various alcohols. We were offered small shot glasses of a sweet liquor. I steeled myself and sipped. I was not worried about what I was drinking, rather, the cleanliness of the hands that had washed the glass and poured the drink!

Two one year old vicunas were then chosen to be bride and groom. They were brought in to the large community room and decorated with ribbons, shaking only a LITTLE bit with fear! Then, two of us travelers including myself were chosen to be best man and maid of honor(!) for the pair. Gerald and I got to name them, then ear tags were cut; they did not seem to have too much pain with this! We all had blood smeared on our cheeks.

We then went out to watch the shearing of these two little ones. They were fearful, but did not bleat loudly and fearfully as I have heard alpacas holler while tied down for shearing.
Then, two women demonstrated skirting and removal of guard hairs from the sheared fleece.

After that, that, the women put out their wares, which were similar to those available at the roadside stands: handknits, handwovens.


I bought a beautiful scarf done interestingly in what I think is a traditional Shetland leaf pattern, in natural alpaca. Above is a photo of the knitter, who allowed me to take her photo.





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