Wearing traditional garb and a warm inviting smile, the woman at the center of our U-shaped benches started her spiel on the a-z of what it takes to make Peruvian textiles. Though we hadn’t been there before, we could have finished quite a few of her jokes, as we had heard them relayed with some detail by our companions on the train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu (Aguas Caliente). They had hired a guide and went by their lonesomes; we had arrived in a large tour bus. They were the same jokes.
More, it was somewhat astounding for this writer to have her memory banks stirred deep down to childhood recollections of DuPont Chemical Company’s show at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. There, white clad scientists took two glass beakers and turned their clear liquids to green, then added a third to make it blue and so on. Here, our smiling docent rubbed white insect pupa to make them red, and then added salt to show us orange, then lemon to make a brighter red still. Green from eucalyptus, purple from corn, yellow and blue from different flowers, and so on—what fun!
Chinchero Teaches A-Z of Peru Textiles and Weaving
It is somewhat of a soup to nuts show—where you see the alpaca wool get shampooed clean, spun, colored and then woven into elaborate patterns with the help of an alpaca bone weft.
The finale comes from you though, as you are pressed into service to be a shopper in the u-shaped store that surrounds the demo area.
Or, you can slip out and take photos of the charming Chinchera town surrounds.
This writer lingered in the shopping area long enough to hear the spiel begin for the next tour group with the same laugh lines.
Click here to read more Picture this Post travel stories by Amy Munice with photography by Peter Kachergis.