Sunday, April 10, 2011

Peru - Day 4 Part I - Chincheros Village Weavers

We are off on a full day of exploring the Sacred Valley today and Sigrid is ready to go.

As we get on the bus, our tour guide for the day, Freddie, tells us what we will be seeing.

Peru is very beautiful. Here are a few photos as we travel to our first stop.

We are now in the village of Chincheros. We are here to see the lifestyle of the people of the village and to learn about how they weave the woollen clothing and other items that they use and sell.

Big smiles and a friendly welcome.

Just about all the buildings have a pair of bulls and a crucifix on the roof. This unusual mix represents dual religious beliefs that continue to today. The bull is to show respect for "Mother Earth" and bring wealth, happiness, and fertility to the household. The crucifix is the traditional Catholic component of their beliefs.

We are now in a courtyard for a demonstration of how woolen products are made. These ladies are hand spinning the wool into threads.

The process starts with the dirty raw wool as sheared from the sheep.

Using the ground root of the plant above, she makes a soapy mixture to wash the wool.

Here she strains the pieces of the plant out before washing the wool.

After washing, the wool is clean and near white in color.

Now, the wool can be twisted to form the twine that will be used in weaving.

Plants and even bugs are used to achieve the vibrant colors of the fabrics.

She has a little purple bug juice on her palm from the parasites that grow on the cactus plant behind her.

Add a little lemon juice and...

You get bright red. This color can be used for dying the wool or for makeup.

Preparing to dye wool.

Add a little something extra and you get orange.

The colors are brilliant and they hold well for the life of the garment.

There are a number of different weaving processes depending on what you want to make.

These aren't pets folks......the guinea pigs are dinner.

I appologize for the very brief commentary, but I have lots of posts to get up and very little time to do them before our next trip to Germany. Off to the next stop.


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