Cultural Corner: Llamas

Cultural Corner: Llamas

The llama is a domesticated animal that has played an important role in South American culture for thousands of years.

Pre-Columbian indigenous cultures used their soft wool to make clothing especially in Peru. The clothing worn by the indigenous populations features geometric patterns and beautiful vibrant colors. The clothing also often shows the village people come from. Ponchos, blankets and skirts are very popular as are traditional hats. In addition, the wool from the llama may also be used to create rugs, ropes, and special blankets used to transport young children and goods.

In the ancient Incan empire of Peru, the llama was revered and figurines of these animals were often buried with the dead. There was even a deity called Urcuchillary that was in the form of a multicolored llama. During the early colonial period, llamas were used to bring gold and silver from the mines in the mountains to the coast. After some time though, the Europeans imported their own animals such as horses and donkeys to take over the work. That said, llamas remain important to this day, particularly in the Andean region of South America.


Comments are closed.