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Back to Chinchero

May 25, 2015

Although Colleen, Kitzen and I had visited Chinchero a few days earlier, we were excited to go again as the first part of “crafts day,” accompanied by our guides Elvira and Hugo. It was another gorgeous, hot day, and I got some good tips from Efraín on shooting in harsh sunlight.

Chinchero Dama             Through the Gate

Displaying Wares                 Purses

After exploring the plaza market and the ruins, we  drove on to the weaving center, where we received an extravagant welcome from a half dozen engaging women in traditional dress singing their weaving songs. They were decked out in marvelous woolen hats adorned with flowers, intricately embroidered blouses and vests, and the ubiquitous striped mantas Andean women use to carry their children, their handicrafts and their groceries.

Extravagant Welcome                      Welcome

The ladies gave us a detailed demonstration of the weaving process, from washing the wool (sheep and alpaca) with salt soap; to creating dyes from vegetables, plants, insects and even children’s urine; to boiling and dying the wool. Later, gathered in a semi-circle in the courtyard, looms between their legs, they deftly plied the colorful yarns, singing all the while. Two rambunctious toddlers raced around the courtyard tossing balls of yarn and taunting each other.

     Washing Wool                  Weaving and Singing

Little Rascal

Traditional Hat

Boy in Hat

They were extraordinarily gracious, anxious to share, and more than tolerant of our picture-taking. Even the llama, Pancho, cooperated!

Pancho 2

  1. Marlo Quick permalink

    I am just beginning to catch up on your posts but it may take a while as I keep going back to look just once more at your stunning photos!

  2. Thanks, Marlo, so glad you’re a fan!

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