Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chinchero Textile Centre

July 25th - Chinchero Textile Centre
Written by Kathleen Pait from Little Rock, AR

Today began with an hour long drive through beautiful, rolling hills of countryside and colorful farmland of rich greens, browns, oranges, and yellows, to reach Chinchero in order for the group to visit a textile center. We were able to watch demonstrations of alpaca and sheep wool spinning and were even lucky enough to participate in the traditional art of wool weaving.

The Chinchero Textile Center is a recipient of a National Geographic grant because it preserves and revives ancient cultural textile traditions. Both the Archeologists and Photographers were given assignments to document the process of creating textiles. We were then introduced to our first true traditional Peruvian meal which included cooked maiz, vegetables, soup, mixed tea, grains, and the very unique dish that only some of us were daring enough to try: Guinea pig.

We headed back to Ollantaytambo where the Photographers got to work on another assignment and the Archaeologists scouted the town to ask townspeople more about the local language called Quechua. We’re so excited to head to the Sunday market tomorrow to find some awesome souvenirs!

*A note from the expedition leaders: On Sunday we are headed to the market in Pisac before we begin our hike in the highlands on Monday, finishing up at a campsite at the hotsprings in Lares. It is likely that we will not be in touch with another blog update until Wednesday, July 29th from Cusco.

Until then!
-Lindsay and Jordan

Watching a master weaver at work at the textile centre in Chinchero
Photo by Jessie Ludin, Upperville, VA

One of the weavers helping Emma
Photo by Jessie Ludin, Upperville, VA

The Centre uses only natural products to create dyes for the wool, reviving ancient traditions in the process . Local plants, roots, flowers, minerals, and even dried, crushed insects are boiled and combined with fibers to create a wide array of natural colors. This photo show lichens used to create the brown color shown in the wool.
Photo by expedition leader Lindsay MacKenzie

Cuy or guinea pig - the centrepiece of our traditional highland lunch!
Photo by Jessie Ludin, Upperville, VA

Watching paragliders take off at a viewpoint above the town of Urubamba.
Photo by Jessie Ludin, Upperville, VA