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Awana Cancha Center–Alpacas, Llamas, and Vicunas

Alpaca with Attitude

Alpaca with Attitude

This alpaca had serious attitude.  It is very hard to distinguish between llamas and alpacas, but alpacas generally have longer hair and are thinner and llamas are generally fatter with bigger ears.  This guy was adorable.  I loved his shaggy coat.

Llamas are the Animals of Love

Llamas are considered the animals of love.  Maybe this is because there is more to hug.  I am pretty sure this was a llama.  The angle of the ears makes it difficult to tell if they are banana-shaped, but the body of this creature sure is large.  Of course I could be wrong.  Even after studying hundreds of photos on line, it is still difficult to tell the difference between alpacas and llamas. 

Baby Llama

Baby Llama

This is a baby llama i think.  It is even harder to tell with the babies.  It sure is adorable though.  

Vicunas

Vicunas

Thankfully, vicunas look a lot different than alpacas or llamas!  A vicuna sweater is also easy to distinguish by its price tag.  A baby alpaca sweater is a couple of hundred dollars versus a vicuna sweater which is a couple of thousand.  I guess they have a lot less wool!

Natural Dyes

Natural Dyes

The dyes they use in making sweaters and other textiles from the wools of these creatures is all plant based and natural.  The colors are incredibly rich, as you can see from the liquid in these containers.  

Woman Weaving with Child

Woman Weaving with Child

Making these textiles is such a labor of love.  It is amazing to watch the fingers of the women who weave these intricate patterns.  This little girl was so adorable next to her mother too.

Spinning and Weaving

Spinning and Weaving

Before the threads can be woven, they must first be spun.  Different people perform different jobs and the children are always present.

Cottage Industry of Weavers

Cottage Industry of Weavers

While I wandered around the Awana Cancha Center, I realized what a cottage industry this was and how long it took to produce each beautiful textile.  The weavers were as colorful as the products they produced.  

Watching and Weaving

Watching and Weaving

As you can see from this barely started piece, it is an incredibly painstaking process to weave one of the textiles.  The threads are so vibrant and colorful and making these creations is a labor of love.  Everywhere you go in Peru, beautiful textiles are for sale.  A trip to the Awana Cancha Center showed me all that went into the process of creating these beautiful works of art.