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Uros ,Alpaca and Weaving in Peru


It was in the year 2007  Machu Picchu was  added to the list of wonders of the world.  That year  our family of four went on a tour of Peru and Machu Picchu. Here  I had a chance to see the ‘Alpaca’ wool which was very expensive. The Alpaca is a domesticated species of south American camel . It resembles a sheep  in appearance and they are kept in herds. Alpacas only have fleece fibers,not woolen fibers  ad these are used for making knitted and woven items . The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors . In textile industry ‘Alpaca’ primarily refers to the hair of  Peruvian alpaca.

We also took a tour of  Titicaca lake. .Lake Titicaca, is known as the the scared waters of  the Inca Empire and  separates Peru and Bolivia. ON Lake Titicaca there are several floating islands of reed  called the UROs  named after the Indians who inhabited them. These floating islands are very interesting and made out of reed. You cna see a cluster of these islands which are inhabited and also have schools ,hospitals and basic needs housed in different Uros. In these Islands I saw some beautiful piece of woven pieces and hand work.

The center for Traditional textiles of Cusco is trying to make sure that this ancient art is not dieing. Nilda Challanaupa gathers weavers to work on different projects.  They make yarn, them selves using sheep,Llama and Alpaca in a technique called ‘drop spindle’  ( I think that is  the method Gadhiji used to weave in India)They twirl the fleece between their fingers,dropping it down and winding it on spools and dye them with dyes made  using  plans and insects.

I have not done any weaving up till now .  The only reason for that  is my allergy.  I am worried about sneezing to death by inhaling wool particles.Recently I have been  seriously thinking to take a course in weaving as there is only one life and let me live it without fear of death.

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